Wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was detained July 21 in Serbia, government sources in Belgrade report. He has been wanted by international authorities since 1996 on genocide charges. A statement by Serbia’s National Security Council, headed by President Boris Tadic, said Karadzic was arrested and handed over to the Belgrade-based Special War Crimes Court. The statement did not offer further details.
Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), is to arrive in Belgrade this week, in the first ICTY visit to the capital since the change of government there. The new pro-European Premier Mirko Cvetkovic took over the cabinet previously run by nationalist Vojislav Kostunica, who was accused of doing little to bring war crimes fugitives to justice. Serbian officials had recently denied having any knowledge of the whereabouts of the remaining fugitives.
Belgrade recently signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with Brussels, seen as the first step towards full EU membership. Serbia can only access millions of euros in funds if Belgrade is found to be fully cooperating with ICTY. If Karadzic’s arrest is confirmed, two Balkan war crimes fugitives remain at large: Bosnian Serb wartime military leader Ratko Mladic and Croatian Serb Goran Hadzic. (BalkanInsight, July 21)
See our last post on Bosnia.