Prosecutor asks Nato to arrest all suspected war criminals

BRUSSELS, Jan 20, 2000 -- (AFP) Chief war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte on Wednesday implored NATO to hunt down and arrest all those under indictment for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

"Let's make justice help peace," she told a press conference with NATO Secretary General George Robertson after meeting with the 19 alliance ambassadors at NATO headquarters here.

Noting there were more than 37 persons under indictment by the ICTY in The Hague who were still at large, she underscored "the importance of arresting all persons who are indicted by the tribunal."

Robertson said NATO was committed "beyond question" to "apprehending all those who have been indicted. We will continue to maintain the pressure," he said.

Last Saturday's assassination of warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, alias Arkan, in a Belgrade hotel lobby might "encourage others to seek civilized justice at The Hague rather than waiting for some other forms of arbitrary justice," said Robertson.

Raznatovic was under indictment by the ICTY for war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia.

Since her appointment last September, Del Ponte, who has made the arrest of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic one of her top priorities.

She was in Paris last week and is to go to London and Washington seeking support in hunting war criminals.

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