Bosnian war crimes suspect on way to Hague
Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect General Zdravko Tolimir, who was arrested on Thursday, has set off for the Hague war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands.world Updated: Jun 01, 2007 19:54 IST
Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect General Zdravko Tolimir, who was arrested on Thursday, has set off for the Hague war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands.
Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect General Zdravko Tolimir, who was arrested on Thursday, has set off for the Hague war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands, NATO said on Friday.
"I can confirm that Tolimir is in the air on his way to The Hague," NATO spokesman Derek Chappel told Reuters in Sarajevo. "He has been taken on a US aircraft. The delivery to the tribunal should happen in a very short period of time."
During the 1992-95 Bosnia war, Tolimir was a close aide of Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, one of the top fugitives wanted by The Hague.
He is alleged to have helped Mladic plan and execute the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995, and is thought by military experts to have helped the commander evade arrest since.
Tolimir, 58, was arrested on the border between Serbia and Bosnia's Serb Republic. Officials said the former general was ill, maybe with cancer.
His arrest leaves five ethnic Serbs from Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia still on the run, including Mladic and his political boss Radovan Karadzic.
Both men are indicted for genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre as well as for the 43-month siege of Sarajevo, which claimed over 10,000 lives.
His delivery at The Hague will boost the prospects of both Serbia and Bosnia for closer ties with the European Union, analysts said.
Serbia's talks with the EU were frozen last year over Belgrade's failure to arrest Mladic. The EU says talks can resume if Serbia makes concrete moves to cooperate with The Hague by arresting fugitives.
Bosnia's talks are also stalled over delayed reforms and the persistent nationalist leanings of the Serbian half of the country and those talks will likely benefit from the arrest, the analysts said.
First Published: Jun 01, 2007 19:47 IST