Sunday, June 17, 2007

Kosovo war crimes suspect seized

Montenegro has arrested a former Serbian security chief accused by the UN war crimes tribunal of ordering the killing of Kosovo Albanians.

Vlastimir Djordjevic is due to be transferred to The Hague where he is one of four Serbian generals accused of crimes in the breakaway province.
The arrest may mark another step by Serbia towards better ties with the EU.
Earlier in June, Belgrade helped arrest Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Zdravko Tolimir, who is now at The Hague.

Mr Djordjevic was for a time thought to be hiding in Russia.
A tribunal spokesman, Anton Nikiforov, told AFP news agency that his arrest in Montenegro had come about with Serbia's co-operation.
"His transfer to The Hague is under way," the spokesman added.

Mr Djordjevic's arrest leaves only four suspects wanted by the UN court on the run: former Bosnian Serb figures Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Stojan Zupljani, and former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic.

The EU has been putting pressure on Serbia, which wants closer ties, to ensure that any of the remaining suspects found on its territory are arrested and handed over to the tribunal.

The indictment against Mr Djordjevic alleges that his police units, with his support or encouragement, created an atmosphere of fear and oppression through violence that forced 800,000 ethnic Albanian civilians to flee their homes.

These units are also accused of murder, rape and the destruction of ethnic Albanian and Muslim cultural and religious monuments in Kosovo.

The violence in the Serbian province of Kosovo in 1999 ended with the intervention of Nato military forces. Since then it has been administered by the UN.

The UN Security Council is currently examining plans to grant Kosovo a form of supervised independence.
This is fiercely rejected by Serbia, which sees Kosovo as the cradle of its culture and history.
Fair use from BBC.

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