Accessed: 10 July 2000

UN official in Kosovo says more Serb judges will "balance the scales of justice"
JUNE 14 -- The United Nations regional administrator in Mitrovica today underlined the need for more Serb judges to step forward and participate in efforts to establish the rule of law in the divided city in northern Kosovo.

William L. Nash stressed that while he recently had sworn in one Serb municipal judge and three lay judges, many more were needed to help "balance the scales of justice." In past weeks more than 50 Albanian lay judges had been sworn in for duty in Mitrovica.

At present, 66 detainees -- 38 of them Serbs -- are being held in the Mitrovica Detention Centre awaiting trial. Many have been in jail for months while investigations continued into charges against them. Efforts to begin trials have been delayed, however, because of the need for Serbs to serve in the judicial process.

"It is imperative for the judiciary to have the resources available so that everyone is assured of a fair and just hearing," Mr. Nash said. "For this to happen, there is a need for all qualified citizens from all communities to be involved."

The first trial in Mitrovica of two Serbs facing charges of genocide, which began 6 June, will resume 3 July and "with Serb participation, we can soon begin more trials," Mr. Nash said.

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 10/07/2000
S D Stein

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