News / Europe

Europe’s Most Wanted Criminal Ratko Mladic Arrested

General Ratko Mladic (c) arrives at special court in Belgrade, May 26, 2011
General Ratko Mladic (c) arrives at special court in Belgrade, May 26, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Analysis by Refik Hodzic from the International Center for Transnational Justice

Former Bosnian-Serb military leader Ratko Mladic has been arrested on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian civil war in the early 1990s.

Ratko Mladic was one of Europe’s most wanted war crimes fugitives.  He has been on the run for more than 15 years, since he was indicted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal at The Hague in 1995.

Now the long wait for his arrest is over.

Arrest details

Serbia’s President Boris Tadic would not say how or where Mladic was arrested.  But he did say the capture had taken place on Serbian soil.  He said a stain had been removed from Serbia.

“Today we closed one chapter of our recent history that will bring us one step closer to full reconciliation in the region,” Tadic said.

Mladic is a former Bosnian-Serb general.  During the Bosnian war in the early 1990s he oversaw the siege of Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo, which lasted more than three years and is the longest in the history of modern warfare.

Listen to analysis by Refik Hodzic, the director of communications for the International Center for Transnational Justice

He’s also accused of having played a key role in the bloody attack in 1995 of Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed in Europe’s worst massacre of civilians since the Second World War.

War crimes

Mladic is the last of three top Serbian leaders wanted for war crimes.  At The Hague, where Mladic is due to be extradited, he will join Bosnian-Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, who was captured in 2008.  Former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic died in custody before his trial ended.

But Amnesty International justice expert Marek Marczynsky says the trial of Mladic may finally bring some closure.

“The victims of those terrible crimes have tried to access justice, truth, and reparation, and Ratko Mladic is a symbol of those crimes,” Marczynksy said. "He is of course not the only one.  There are thousands of perpetrators still waiting to be prosecuted.”



Life in hiding


The capture of Mladic has taken a long time because, Marczynksy says, he was protected by some of those who still hold power in Serbia.  It was because of international pressure, he says, that the arrest was finally made.  

“When the European Union started pushing for those arrests, for investigations and for prosecutions, finally after some time we could see some results,” Marczynksy said.

Mladic’s arrest was welcomed by international leaders.  NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Mladic had played a “key role” in some of the “darkest episodes of Balkan and European history”.

Mladic’s arrest was a precondition of Serbia joining the European Union.  Now with him heading to The Hague, the country may be one step closer to that aim.


Ratko Mladic on Dipity.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid