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Goff Welcomes Extradition Of Milosevic

Foreign Minister Phil Goff has welcomed the decision by Serbia's reformist government to extradite former leader Slobodan Milosevic to stand trial before the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

"This is a landmark decision in the fight to bring to justice those who have committed human rights abuses.

"Milosevic is the first Head of State to face trial before the Tribunal. In the past only the less important figures have been held to account for their actions.

"This sends a clear message to others that they cannot with impunity commit acts of terror, violence and persecution. Political and military leaders must expect to be held accountable for the atrocities committed by their supporters either with their direct encouragement or which they have condoned by their failure to act.

"Renewed efforts now need to be made to arrest and extradite Bosnian Serb leaders, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic who should also face trial for the widespread murder, rape and torture of Bosnian Muslims.

"With the impending establishment of the International Criminal Court, our goal in the twenty-first century must be to ensure that all who commit war crimes and human rights abuses can expect to be brought to justice for their crimes," Mr Goff said.

Ends


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