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    Interpol Issues Arrest Warrant for Serbian Parliament Vice-Speaker, Associates

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    International police cooperation agency Interpol, at the request of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), issued arrest warrants for Deputy Chair of Serbia’s parliament Vjerica Radeta and two of her associates from the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), the tribunal’s statement said Friday.

    BELGRADE (Sputnik) — The document added that the arrest warrants had been issued at the Tribunal's request and were effective as of March 16.

    "On 24 March 2017, Interpol notified the Tribunal that it has issued red notices… which seek the location and arrest of the accused Petar Jojic, Jovo Ostojic and Vjerica Radeta," the statement said.

    Petar Jojic, Jovo Ostojic and Vjerica Radeta have been charged with contempt of court for allegedly interfering with two witnesses in the trial against SRS’ leader Vojislav Seselj. However, in March 2016, Seselj was cleared by the Tribunal of all charges of war crimes committed during 1990s in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and is now running to become Serbia's president. The Serbian election is set for April 2.

    Serbian authorities expressed their discontent and unwillingness to deliver the vice-speaker and two other SRS members to the ICTY.

    "There is a Serbian court ruling that they will not be surrendered. There is no legal ground for this, and we have to respect the conclusions of the independent judicial authorities," Rasim Ljajic, Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister, responsible for coordinating the cooperation with ICTY, said.

    Meanwhile, the country’s Justice Minister, Nela Kuburovic, stressed that "the Supreme Court in Belgrade had concluded it was impossible to surrender the radicals to the ICTY as they were charged with contempt of court," which was not enough according to the Serbia’s Law on Cooperation with ICTY.

    In October 2016, ICTY’s Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz urged Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to deliver the three SRS activists to the tribunal in the near future. Vucic, in turn, expressed Serbia’s commitment to locating those involved in the military offenses, as well as the country’s readiness to cooperate with ICTY in prosecuting the criminals.

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