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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Croatia 'disappoints' UN tribunal
UN's chief war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte shakes hands with Croatian President Stjepan Mesic (right) next to Prime Minister Ivo Sanader
All smiles - but Ms del Ponte wants Croatia to arrest Gen Gotovina
The UN's chief war crimes prosecutor has expressed disappointment at the level of Croatia's co-operation with The Hague war crimes tribunal.

Carla del Ponte said Zagreb's failure to arrest a top war crimes suspect, Ante Gotovina, was still a problem.

Ms del Ponte is to report on Croatia's co-operation to the European Union.

Croatia is keen to resume membership negotiations with the EU which were suspended earlier this year because Mr Gotovina remains at large.

General Gotovina, has been charged with war crimes against Serb civilians in 1995 during a Croatian offensive to expel Serb forces from Croatia.

Correspondents say a more positive evaluation might have persuaded Austria, which wants to start Croatia's EU entry talks, to drop its objections to starting EU accession talks with Turkey on Monday.


But after meeting Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and President Stipe Mesic, Ms del Ponte said: "You cannot imagine how disappointed I am. We have always [the] same problem, Gotovina is still at large."

Croatian Gen Ante Gotovina
Gen Ante Gotovina is accused of war crimes against ethnic Serbs
The Croatian government has said it is unable to locate Mr Gotovina.

Last week, Ms del Ponte accused the Catholic Church in Croatia of sheltering the fugitive general, who is considered a hero by many of his countrymen.

A spokesman for the Croatian Catholic Church rejected the charges.

On Thursday, Ms del Ponte criticised Serbia and Montenegro for not arresting The Hague tribunal's two most wanted men - Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic and his wartime political counterpart, Radovan Karadzic.

But she welcomed the fact that other wanted Serb suspects had been handed over to The Hague.

MI6 and the Croatian general
30 Apr 05 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Country profile: Croatia
29 Sep 04 |  Country profiles

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