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Ex-Bosnian-Serb Leader and War Crimes Suspect Radovan Karadzic Arrested


Serbia says it has arrested one of the world's most wanted war crimes suspects, Radovan Karadzic, who has been linked to Europe's worst massacre since World War Two. Stefan Bos reports for VOA from Budapest .

The office of Serbian President Boris Tadic says former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was arrested late Monday in a raid by Serbian security forces.

Officials say Karadzic was transferred to an investigative judge of Serbia's War Crimes Court in Belgrade.

Prosecutors of The Hague-based United Nations War Crimes Tribunal charged

Karadzic with genocide and crimes against humanity during the Bosnian war. He is accused of masterminding the killing of more than 7,000 Muslims in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

In the United States, the White House welcomed the arrest and said it is atribute to the victims of the war's atrocities.

Karadzic's wartime military commander Ratko Mladic, who is also among the most wanted men by the war crimes court, remains at large.

The executive director of the Belgrade-based Balkan Trust for Democracy, Ivan Vejvoda, says Karadzic's arrest was the right move for the Serbian government.

The arrest "also shows very importantly that the new government in Belgrade has demonstrated in practice what it said rhetorically, that it has the political will to move forward and make the arrests of the remaining (war crimes) indictees a priority of its government."

The U.N. Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz also welcomed the arrest of Karadzic, saying it is an "important day for international justice because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law."

Serbia had been under pressure from the European Union, Washington and the United Nations to turn Karadzic and other war time suspects over to The Hague tribunal.