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Belgrade Waits for War-Crimes Suspects to Make "Mistakes"

Following the recent arrest of Serbia's Radovan Karadzic and his transfer to the United Nations war-crimes tribunal to face justice, Serbian police expect the two remaining fugitives to also slip up and get caught.


Radovan Karadzic's arrest comes 13 years after he was indicted for war crimes

Karadzic, a Bosnian-Serb political leader in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) over charges of genocide and other crimes 13 years ago but remained in hiding until his arrest in Belgrade in late July.

"A single mistake of his led to Karadzic's arrest," Rasim Ljajic, the Serbian minister in charge of cooperation with The Hague-based ICTY, said in an interview with Vecernje Novosti daily.

Isolated internationally over its role in the wars in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s, the United States and European Union have called on Serbia to arrest all war-crimes suspects.

Suspect hunt linked to EU membership

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, right, enters the courtroom for his initial appearance at the U.N.'s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague

It is hoped Karadzic's arrest can shed light on the location of two other wanted war criminals

To continue toward membership of the European Union after Karadzic's arrest, Belgrade must still arrest the Bosnian-Serb wartime military chief Ratko Mladic, who is accused of the slaughter of 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995.

The only other remaining fugitive is lesser-known Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic.

Ljajic said he could not tell when the next arrest would occur.

Although much of Karadzic's time in hiding remains shrouded in uncertainty, the few details revealed about the former political leader during this period, such as his career as an alternative healer, appear bizarre.

Ljajic said Karadzic's "not very massive" support network was being investigated for possible links with Mladic.

"It's early to judge whether some of ... Karadzic's people are also in Mladic's network," Ljajic said. "We learned a lot, but are still reconstructing Karadzic's movements."

Appeal for surrender

Ljajic once more repeated the call to Mladic and Hadzic to turn themselves in.

"It would be best for them, their families and the country," he said.

Ljajic's appeal was echoed by Serbian Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac, who in a separate interview said, "The whole of Serbia is a hostage of Mladic and Hadzic."

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