Serbia is not negotiating the surrender of the top war crimes suspect from the Yugoslav wars, and he "remains at large," chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said Wednesday.
She forcefully denied reports from Belgrade that Serbian authorities were negotiating for the surrender of Ratko Mladic.
"Mladic remains at large," Del Ponte said at a news conference at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.
"The false rumors spread [Tuesday] from Belgrade about the arrest of Mladic have absolutely no basis whatsoever," she said.
Del Ponte urged Serbia to immediately arrest him, repeating her long-held view that the former general is in Serbia and enjoys the protection of the authorities there.
"Ratko Mladic is in Serbia. There is no doubt about this. He has been there since 1998," Del Ponte said. "During all this time he has been and remains within reach of the Serbian authorities."
She urged the European Union to continue to link Serbian cooperation in bringing Mladic to justice to the country's desire to eventually join the bloc.