22nd Oct 2020

Reports on Mladic capture spark confusion

The Serbian government on Tuesday night (21 February) denied reports on the arrest of top Bosnia Serb war crimes suspect general Ratko Mladic.

Bosnia's television station TV BN reported general Mladic was arrested in the Serbian capital of Belgrade and being transported to the Hague via the Bosnian town of Tuzla.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Ratko Mladic is one of the top fugitives on the UN tribunal's list of war criminal suspects (Photo: ICTY)

The report was picked up by Serbian press agency Tanjug, but Serb authorities reacted by saying that such speculation detracted from Belgrade's efforts "to fully complete its co-operation with The Hague".

Later, Serbian dailies Glas Javnosti and Blic wrote that general Mladic was at a secure location discussing the conditions for his surrender, BBC reports.

Other leading regional newspapers indicate the net around the fugitive is closing and the operation to finalise his capture is under way, while western correspondents also report that talks between Serbian officials and Mr Mladic's allies have been carried out.

General Mladic is accused of war crimes during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, the former Yugoslavia, and features on the most wanted list of the UN Hague tribunal (ICTY).

He is held responsible for the siege of Sarajevo, which claimed at least 10,000 lives, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which at least 7,500 Muslim men and boys were killed.

Belgrade has been under international pressure to arrest the general and transfer him to the Hague, with the tribunal's prosecutor Carla del Ponte claiming he is within reach of the Serbian authorities.

The prosecutor's spokeswoman Florence Hartmann told the Associated Press on Tuesday "We have said for the last 10 days that the arrest could take place very quickly."

But Ms Del Ponte's office also said it "formally" dismissed reports that the general had already been arrested.

EU enlargement commissioner Oli Rehn is due to report to the bloc's foreign ministers early next week on how the Serbian authorities co-operate with the Hague.

Brussels has previously warned no further step on the country's path to the EU can be made without more efforts to deliver Mr Mladic.

Kosovo to restart EU/US-led Serbia talks

Restarting talks on Serbia relations will be the new Kosovo prime minister's top priority, he said, but will the EU or the US lead the process?

News in Brief

  1. Commission to press Croatia on migrant 'abuse' at border
  2. Belarus opposition awarded 2020 Sakharov Prize
  3. Belgium's foreign minister in intensive care for Covid-19
  4. MEPs restrict CAP funding for bullfighting
  5. Coronavirus: Liège is 'the Lombardy of the second wave'
  6. UK to keep out EU nationals with criminal past
  7. Report: EU to restrict travel from Canada, Tunisia, Georgia
  8. Pope Francis supports same-sex civil unions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersUN Secretary General to meet with Nordic Council on COVID-19
  3. UNESDAWell-designed Deposit Return Schemes can help reach Single-Use Plastics Directive targets
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  6. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity

Latest News

  1. Nato and EU silent on Turkey, despite Armenia's appeal
  2. EU tells UK to decide on Brexit as deal 'within reach'
  3. EU farming deal attacked by Green groups
  4. France vows tough retaliation for teacher's murder
  5. All eyes on EU court for decision on religious slaughter
  6. 'Big majority' of citizens want EU funds linked to rule of law
  7. EU declares war on Malta and Cyprus passport sales
  8. EU Commission's Libya stance undercut by internal report

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us