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Bosnia Serbs to Seek War Crime Figures

November 16, 2001|From Reuters

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Six years after Bosnia's ethnic war ended, the Bosnian Serb republic says it has started the hunt for its fugitive war crimes suspects.

Prime Minister Mladen Ivanic said those being sought include the two most wanted suspects: wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his top general, Ratko Mladic.

"I know that judicial authorities have created conditions for the search for these people, and that the search is ongoing," Ivanic said.

Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb republic, adopted a law last month governing the arrest and hand-over of suspects to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague. But many Serbs object to the idea of handing over people some still idolize.

"Formally and legally, it is our obligation now to make these people available to the tribunal," Ivanic said Wednesday.

The prime minister said police were targeting about 10 specific war crimes suspects. He said he would not stand for any dissent from the police or judiciary.

Ivanic said he had no evidence that Karadzic and Mladic were in the Serb republic, which together with the Muslim-Croat Federation makes up Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Karadzic and Mladic were indicted by the Hague tribunal in July 1995 for a massacre in Srebrenica that left at least 7,000 Muslim men and boys dead.

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