SAS seizes Bosnian Serb indicted for war crimes

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The Independent Online
BRITISH SAS troops working for the Nato-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia yesterday arrested a Bosnian Serb indicted for war crimes in one of the worst "internment camps" set up by the Serbs during the conflict of 1992-95.

The suspect was identified as Milojica "Krle" Kos, aged 35, a shift boss at the camp at Omarska, near the north-western town of Prijedor. He was arrested in in the Serb-held city of Banja Luka, also in Bosnia's north-west, "when it was clear that his freedom of movement and attempts to evade [capture] were at an end", said a Nato statement in Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital. He did not resist arrest. Kos was the seventh war crime suspect whose arrest involved British forces.

The indictment said guards and others subordinate to Kos "openly killed, raped, tortured, beat, and otherwise subjected prisoners to conditions of constant humiliation, degradation and fear of death."

Kos was to be taken to the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands, last night. His arraignment was expected next week, said a tribunal spokesman. Prosecutors recently dropped charges against some Omarska guards, but left allegations in place against more senior suspects - including Kos. Two other alleged Omarska shift commanders, Miroslav Kvocka and Mladen Radic, await trial in The Hague.

Omarska was one of several infamous camps set up by the Serbs when war broke out in 1992 between Bosnia's pro-independence Muslims and Croats and the Serbs who wanted Bosnia to stay in Yugoslavia. After the worst sufferings of the inmates , many of them civilians, were exposed in the Western media in the summer of 1992, the excesses were toned down. The camps were eventually closed, but not before thousands succumbed to the cruel regime.

Prosecutors say most of the charges relate to crimes against Croats and Muslims in 1992.

The arrest of the latest suspect shows the pressure is still on Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader who presided over the establishment of the camps. He is on the UN war crimes indictment and is believed to be in the Serb-run sector of eastern Bosnia withgeneral Ratko Mladic, his military commander.