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Saturday, 10 February, 2001, 23:27 GMT
Call for arrests over Vukovar massacre
Vukovar was reduced to rubble in 1991
A delegation from the European Parliament visiting Belgrade has called on the authorities there to arrest three Yugoslav army officers accused of involvement in a mass killing near Vukovar in Croatia in 1991.

The delegation's leader, Doris Pack, said such a move would be proof that Yugoslavia was prepared to prosecute at least some of the figures indicted by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

We deliver, if you deliver as well

Doris Pack
Veselin Sljivancanin, Milan Mrksic and Miroslav Radic are accused of being responsible for the killing of more than 200 non-Serbs who were removed from the Vukovar hospital during the Croatian war of independence from Yugoslavia.

Ms Pack said that the three officers' handover would be a sign of good faith.

"It must be soon because others, not only the EU, are waiting for some movement in this direction," she said.

Colonel Milan Mrksic
Colonel Mrksic has dropped from public view since Vukovar
The EU wanted to provide financial aid to Yugoslavia, but there were conditions, she added.

"We deliver, if you deliver as well," she said.

But the Yugoslav constitution still stands in the way of handing the men over - no Yugoslav citizen can be extradited to stand trial before a foreign court.

BBC correspondents say that the three men named by the European delegation have dropped out of public view, although Major Sljivancanin has continued his military career.

But in 1991 they were prominent figures in the events which took place in and around the Croatian town of Vukovar.

Croatia had attempted to declare independence but was opposed by the Yugoslav Army, which captured Vukovar and reduced it to rubble.

The events which are the subject of the indictment by the war crimes tribunal took place after the fall of the town, when the Yugoslav Army is accused of taking away hundreds of non-Serb men from Vukovar hospital.

The captives were taken to a farm outside town and beaten, then to a secluded place and shot.

Two hundred bodies have been found at the site, and more than 50 men are still missing.

In a separate move, Yugoslavia's new ambassador in London, Vladeta Jankovic, has urged caution over demands for the extradition of the former president, Slobodan Milosevic.

He said under the present constitution such a move could be challenged as illegal.

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See also:

08 Feb 01 | Europe
EU softens line on Milosevic
10 Jan 01 | Europe
Milosevic trial: Home or away?
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