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General Ratko Mladic arrested

26. May 2011. | 13:31 21:57

Source: Emg.rs

Author: Nikolaos D.A. Arvanites

The Serbian president has confirmed that alleged war criminal Ratko Mladic has been arrested following an anonymous tip-off. The details of the arrest are unknown. Mladic will hear the Hague indictment issued against him, after which the court will decide on his extradition to the UN war-crimes court. The final word on the extradition will be given by the Serbian Ministry of Justice. The procedure could take up to a week.

The Serbian and Croatian media reported Thursday that a person believed to be Ratko Mladic had been arrested. No official comment was given during the morning.

Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List was the first to report the arrest of Mladic, saying that police were doing DNA tests on a suspect to determine if he was the notorious former commander.

According to unofficial sources, the arrested individual goes by the name of Milorad Komadic.

A convoy of vehicles left the headquarters of the intelligence agency BIA, and entered the court's yard around 16:00 CET.

An investigative judge is expected to interview Mladic.

Mladic will hear the Hague indictment issued against him, after which the court will decide on his extradition to the UN war-crimes court.

The former military leader of Serbs in Bosnia has the right to appeal that decision.

The final word on the extradition will be given by the Serbian Ministry of Justice. The procedure could take up to a week.

Serbian President Boris Tadic held an emergency news conference at 1 p.m..

Tadic: Mladic arrested, Serbia's reputation no longer tarnished

"I want to congratulate the National Security Council's Action Team, which has worked tirelessly every day, hour and minute since the government came into office in August 2008, on discovering war crimes suspects. This confirms once again that Serbia was working at full capacity to complete its cooperation with the ICTY, searching for the suspects and trying to close a difficult page in its history," Tadic said.

According to him, Mladic's arrest has cleared the tarnished reputation of Serbia, its citizens and the entire Serb people. Tadic added that the operation has proven that Serbian security agencies have made this country safe and have secured the rule of law.

The president said that the search for ICTY indictees has had a positive effect on capacity building at Serbia's security agencies, and announced he expects the arrest of only remaining ICTY fugitive Goran Hadzic, as well as all organizers of "major crime", before the end of the current government's mandate.

"We broadened our activities as a result of war crimes investigations, especially the BIA, which did the most work in this. This way the agency helped find out the truth about many organized crime networks," said Tadic.

He did not wish to provide any details about Mladic's arrest, explaining that the BIA and other institutions involved would do that. When asked how it was possible that Mladic's arrest coincided with a visit from EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, Tadic responded that the government had not targeted a specific date when to arrest Mladic and had cooperated with the ICTY since the start of its term.

"This ends the search for Ratko Mladic and brings Serbia closer to the completion of its cooperation with the ICTY. At the same time, we keep in mind that we need to finish the investigation regarding Goran Hadzic. This also does not end the investigation into who was hiding Ratko Mladic and whether any of Serbia's institutions were involved. All who did so will be brought o justice," he stressed.

When asked if he expected any protests because of the arrest, Tadic noted that Serbia fulfils all its legal obligations and he, as the president, would do everything to keep it stable.

"I do not expect Serbia to plunge into instability because it arrested Mladic and respected its own laws. Anyone who attempts such a thing will be tried," he warned.

The president believes Mladic's arrest opens the door for Serbia to get the status of a candidate for EU membership, the starting date for the accession negotiations and ultimately membership.

"No one in the world has any doubt now that Serbia is completely honest in its cooperation with the ICTY," he concluded.

Serbian PM: Mladic’s arrest removes biggest obstacle to Serbia’s EU integration

Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said today that by arresting Ratko Mladic Serbia has demonstrated clear moral credibilty and removed the biggest obstacle in the process of its European integration.

Cvetkovic said that the arrest of Mladic is also proof that all relevant institutions have been seriously doing their job, adding that Serbia has clearly shown that it is committed to justice and respect for the rule of law.

We are committed to personalisation of all crimes and bringing to justice all those suspected of committing war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, said the Serbian Prime Minister.

The details of the arrest are unknown.

Gen Mladic was said by Serbian media to have been arrested in Vojvodina, a northern province of Serbia, in the early hours of Thursday morning. President Tadic would only confirm he had been arrested "on Serbian soil".

All the media in the world have put the news of Mladic’s arrest as highlights and on their front pages. They also reported from the press conference given by President Tadic, some of them broadcasting it live. Numerous officials and analysts discussed the news in various programmes all over the world.

B92 has unofficially learned that the operation took place in the village of Lazarevo, near the town of Zrenjanin in northern Serbia.B92 learned that beside using an assumed name, Mladic was not wearing a beard or any disguise, and that his appearance showed he had "aged considerably". According to this, one of his arms is paralyzed.

Inhabitants of Lazarevo, a village near Zrenjanin, Vojvodina, are surprised to hear reports by some media that Ratko Mladic, an International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) fugitive, was arrested Thursday in their village, as nobody was aware of his presence there, Chairman of the council of the Lazarevo local community Radmilo Stanisic said Thursday.

He told Tanjug that he had not been aware that Mladic had been present in their village, adding that a number of families with the same surname lived in Lazarevo, having moved there from Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1945.

He adds that no family in Lazarevo signs Komadic, allegedly Mladic's alias, as their last name.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Ivica Dacic said today that the arrest of Ratko Mladic is a big step forward in the future to Serbia's EU accession, but also the fulfillment of domestic duties in the investigation against those accused of war crimes.

Dacic told reporters that Mladic was arrested in coordinated action of police service for the war crimes investigation and Security Intelligence Agency BIA near Zrenjanin during house searches at four locations in houses that belonged to Mladic's relatives.

During the arrest, police did not use firearms, nor Mladic gave any resistance, said the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Muslim member of Bosnia' three-person inter-ethnic presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, welcomed the news of Ratko Mladic's arrest on Thursday and said it was conducted in cooperation with Bosnian security agencies.

"The arrest was made by Serbia's legal institutions and with support of Bosnia-Herzegovina legal institutions," Izetbegovic told a news conference. He declined to give more details, saying Bosnia's security ministry will say more later in the day.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday the arrest of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic was an important condition for Serbia's entry to the EU, but did not mean automatic accession.

"You need to look at the entire facts around every accession. This was an important element, but it does not mean that digital one-on-one the arrest of this man means accession. It does not work like that," Rutte told Dutch television.

Reacting to news of the arrest, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that Mladic must now be transferred to The Hague "without delay."

Earlier in the day, it had emerged that the special prosecutor for the ICTY had again accused Belgrade of not doing enough to capture Mladic and the former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic

"The capture is the biggest obligation of Serbia. Until now efforts by Serbia to detain fugitives have not been sufficient," Mr Brammertz said in the report sent to the UN Security Council, details of which were published on the internet site EUObserver.

Having lived freely in Belgrade for some time, Gen Mladic disappeared from view when former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was arrested in 2001.

The White House greeted the arrest of Ratko Mladic. Deputy Advisor for National Security Ben Rhodes said the USA expects Mladic to be extradited to the Hague Tribunal as soon as possible. He added Mladic’s arrest shows that all the war crime indictees will be brought to justice.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has stated that the arrest of Ratko Mladic is a historic day for the international justice, and thanked the Serbian Government and President Boris Tadic for that. On the margins of a UNESCO session in Paris, Ban said that this arrest is a an important step in the striving to end impunity.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia welcomes the arrest today of Ratko Mladic, General Colonel and former Commander of the Main Staff of the army of the Serbian
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina/Republika Srpska.

He was indicted by the Tribunal on 25 July 1995 and was a fugitive from justice for almost 16 years.

In relation to the arrest, Prosecutor Brammertz stated the following:

“I welcome the arrest of Ratko Mladic today in Serbia. We await arrangements for his transfer to The Hague where he will stand trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

We recognize the work done by the Serbian authorities, specifically the National Security Council and Serbia’s Action Team, in apprehending Ratko Mladic. We thank them for meeting their obligations towards the
Tribunal and towards justice. We also acknowledge the efforts of the international community in supporting measures to secure Ratko Mladić’s arrest.

With the news of the arrest, we think first and foremost of the victims of the crimes committed during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. These victims have endured unimaginable horrors – including the genocide in Srebrenica – and redress for their suffering is long overdue. Ratko Mladić’s arrest is also significant for all people in the former Yugoslavia. We believe that it can have a positive impact on reconciliation in the region.

Today is also an important day for international justice. Ratko Mladic’s arrest clearly signals that the commitment to international criminal justice is entrenched. Today’s events show that people responsible for grave violations of international humanitarian law can no longer count on impunity.”

Ratko Mladic, Colonel General, former Commander of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war against Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 war.

As set out in the Indictment, Ratko Mladić together with Radovan Karadžic was a key member of a joint criminal enterprise to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from the territory in Bosnia
and Herzegovina claimed by Bosnian Serbs. To achieve this aim, Ratko Mladić, acted in concert with others to commit crimes in the locations and at the times alleged in the indictment.

As the most senior officer of the Bosnian Serb Army during the war, Ratko Mladic was the superior of Bosnian Serb Army members and other Serb forces integrated into or subordinated to the Bosnian Serb Army. As
such, he had effective control over the forces who participated in the crimes alleged. Ratko Mladić is charged with planning, instigating and ordering each of the crimes.

Ratko Mladić is charged with crimes that include:

  • 1 the murder of close to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.
  • 2 the murders, persecution, forcible transfer, detention andmistreatment of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the campaign to permanently remove such persons from the territory under the control of the forces of Republika Srpska.
  • 3 the terror campaign and the shelling and sniping of civilians inSarajevo by Bosnian Serb forces under his command and control which resulted in the killing and wounding of thousands, including many women and children;
  • 4 the taking of UN military observers and peacekeeping personnel ashostages in May and June 1995.

Nineteen years have passed since the first crimes listed in this indictment were committed. Sixteen years have passed since Ratko Mladić was indicted. Today he is in custody and will be brought to stand trial
in The Hague.


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Enter text:

26. May 2011. 17:05:26

| very interesting


"Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday the arrest of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic was an important condition for Serbia's entry to the EU, but did not mean automatic accession."

26. May 2011. 21:26:43

| EU's puppet


It's like always. Another hoop to jump throw with no end in sight. The only thing that is definite is further vilification, degradation and humiliation of the Serbian people and state.

We as a people have been through numerous trials and tribulations, from the Ottoman Empire to both the World Wars, and on all accounts we regained our composure and rose from the ashes. We in hope because we are certain of the future.


23. May - 29. May 2011.