Schwarz-Schilling Welcomes First ICTY-Related Arrest by RS Police

The High Representative and EU Special Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, welcomed news of yesterday’s arrest of Zdravko Tolimir, pointing out that this was the first time that the police of Republika Srpska had apprehended an individual indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

“Yesterday’s arrest is extremely significant,” the High Representative and EU Special Representative said. “On the one hand, an important war-crimes suspect, charged with genocide, will now face justice. On the other hand, the arrest itself was, for the first time, carried out by the RS police.”

Tolimir was one of six individuals indicted by the ICTY who until yesterday remained at liberty. In 1995, he had been Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Security of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska with the rank of general and, according to his indictment, both aware of the programme to expel Bosniacs from Srebrenica and Zepa and a willing participant in the project.

This confirms that persons indicted for war crimes are harboured at different times in different countries in the region. All actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina and particularly in the Republika Srpska must take all measures possible to ensure the remaining indictees are brought to justice.

“Although nearly 12 years have passed since genocide was committed in Srebrenica, the need to bring those responsible to justice is as great today as it was in 1995,” Mr Schwarz-Schilling continued. “I expect the RS police to build on yesterday’s success and to help deliver all remaining war-crimes’ suspects rapidly to justice, including in particular Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.”