The Hague Tribunal on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia -- remember them? The folks who have been trying Slobodan Milosevic for the last three and a half years? Well, they're starting to wrap up. The Tribunal must issue its final set of indictments by the end of 2004. In other words, within the next four days. After that, no more new indictments... they have to finish with what they've got. Now, this is a pretty stupid idea. There are a lot of war criminals still running around. Many of them have committed ghastly crimes, murder and worse. Eight and a half years -- or five and a half, if we're talking about Kosovo -- is not a very long time. (By way of comparison, the US and Israel are still going after a few last elderly Nazi war criminals, and General Pinochet of Chile is facing prosecution for crimes committed in the 1970s.) Yet, once this deadline closes, the many war criminals not indicted will be... not quite home free, no, but able to breathe a lot more easily. But the Hague Tribunal has been a mess. It has taken much longer and cost far, far more money than anyone ever imagined. So it's going to be shut down whether its work is done or not. (And it's not.) There's plenty of blame to go around for this sorry situation, and maybe sometime I'll post about it. But in the short run, the big question is: will the Tribunal indict Prime Minister Haradinaj of Kosovo? Rumor in Serbia is that they will, but rumor in Serbia is not always a reliable source. If they do, it will be the biggest thing since they got Milosevic in their hands. If they don't... well, that will also be the biggest thing since they got Milosevic. Either way, there will be big effects on the region. More on this soon.