A spokeswoman for Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), said the indictment against former Macedonian interior minister Ljube Boskovski and his former bodyguard Johan Tarculovski, for the murders of Albanian civilians during the 2001 Macedonia conflict, would be the court’s last.

The ICTY, set up in February 1993 by the United Nations, has charged more than 120 suspects, including top politicians and army officers, from the former Yugoslavia for war crimes and human rights violations during wars in the 1990s.

Of those 120 suspects, 37 have been convicted.

The tribunal is now under pressure to wrap up all trials by 2008 and appeals by 2010.

It has netted some big fish, including former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, whose trial has been dragging on since 2002.

Despite a flurry of surrenders recently as former Yugoslav republics seek to curry favour with the expanding European Union, 17 indicted suspects are still at large, including former Bosnian Serb political and military leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, accused of genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Croatian authorities said the indictment against Boskovski, who is currently been held in a Croatian jail since his arrest last August, had been received and have promised to hand him over.

But the EU is likely to delay the planned start of EU entry talks with Croatia this week because it says Zagreb is giving its full cooperation in the hunt for another key war crimes suspect, retired general Ante Gotovina.

Despite the court deadline to wrap up its work, its president, US judge Theodor Meron, said the tribunal would stay open until Karadzic and Mladic are brought to justice.

Some 200,000 people were killed in the Balkans ethnic conflicts, which spanned a decade after spreading from one republic to another, from Croatia (1991-1995), to Bosnia (1992-1995), to Kosovo (1998-1999).

The Balkans wars saw the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

A final episode of fighting broke out between the government of Macedonia and Albanian rebels in 2001.

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