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UN tribunal orders Croatian authorities to serve indictment against former general

UN tribunal orders Croatian authorities to serve indictment against former general

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has ordered Croatian authorities to serve an indictment against Gen. Janko Bobetko, with a corresponding order that arrest warrants against the 84-year-old be dropped pending an assessment of his health and ability to travel.

A statement released by The Hague-based Tribunal confirms that yesterday, the charges against the former Croatian military chief were unsealed, and that Judge Carmel Agius directed Croatian authorities to serve the indictment, which charges him with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during and after a 1993 military action in a Serb-dominated enclave known as the "Medak pocket."

Judge Agius also ordered that, once the indictment had been served, the warrants of arrest and orders for surrender issued by the Tribunal on 17 and 20 September be suspended immediately, and that the Croatian authorities provide the Tribunal's Registrar with a monthly medical update on Mr. Bobetko's health. This followed the Judge's earlier consideration of report filed by medical experts which "clearly showed the accused is unfit to travel and stand trial."

Deciding last week that the only matter relevant to the further conduct of the case was to establish a monthly monitoring mechanism to assess Mr. Bobetko's medical condition, Judge Agius ruled, "It is justified to suspend the warrants for the Accused's arrest and the orders for surrender, pending a change in the Accused's state of health that would allow him to stand trial."