PACE to debate three more resolutions
|26 January 2011 | 10:26 | Source: B92, Tanjug, Večernje novosti|
|STRASBOURG -- Serbian President Boris Tadić will address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) today in Strasbourg.|
The PACE will today debate three resolutions related to the former Yugoslavia – dedicated to witness protection, reconciliation and political dialogue and obligation to cooperate in prosecution of war crimes.
CoE Rapporteur Jean Charles Gardetto, whose report will be discussed today, has stated that his document on witness protection in war crime cases in the Balkans “is not only about Kosovo and is not against Kosovo”.
“Among other things, there is no law that governs this area. Those who decide to testify are really taking a big risk. Lives of some of them are even in danger. Threats and attacks on witness often remain unpunished,” he told Belgrade's Večernje Novosti daily.
Gardetto also pointed out that the EULEX witness protection unit did not have enough funding or specialized police, and added that it could be said that there was a real void in Kosovo in terms of witness protection.
According to his assessment, Kosovo is followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina, “while Serbia got a passing grade, ranking immediately after ‘leader’ Croatia”.
This CoE rapporteur stressed that, since it has been so many years since the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, justice can now "practically only rely on witnesses".
“That is why witnesses need much better protection, since that’s the only way to get to the truth which is necessary in order to close the painful page in the region’s history,” Gardetto pointed out.