Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Serbia arrests last war crimes fugitive

Serbia's last major war crimes fugitive, a Croatian Serb wartime leader indicted for crimes against humanity during the 1991-95 Croatian war, has been arrested, Serbian president Boris Tadic says.

“Goran Hadzic was a key figure in the breakaway Krajina Serb republic in Croatia, and after the arrest of wartime general Ratko Mladic earlier this year, he was Serbia's last remaining figure sought by the United Nations war crimes tribunal in the Hague.

Serbia's leader held a press conference to announce the capture shortly after Hadzic's arrest at 8:24am (local time).

"With this, Serbia ends the most difficult chapter in its cooperation with the court," Mr Tadic told the conference.

Hadzic is charged with ordering the killing of hundreds and the deportation of thousands of Croats and other non-Serbs from the area.

Mr Tadic said Hadzic was tracked down in the idyllic mountain region of Fruska Gora, near the northern city of Novi Sad, and arrested near Krusedol village.

The village is home to a famous Serbian Orthodox monastery, a popular tourist destination known for its icons.

The European Union, which hailed Belgrade for finding Mladic in May, has continued to insist on the arrest of Hadzic for Serbia to make progress towards European Union membership.

Hadzic lived openly in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad until July 13, 2004, when The Hague sent an indictment and arrest warrant to Belgrade.

He fled immediately, tipped off by nationalist hardliners in Serbia's security services”

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