Latest capture adds momentum to the search for Karadzic and Mladic

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The search for the top Bosnian Serb war crimes suspects, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, was given new impetus last night in the wake of the arrest of Croatia's most wanted man.

The capture of Ante Gotovina puts added pressure on Serbia-Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina to help find the two men accused of some of the worst atrocities of the Balkan wars.

Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, and his general remain at large despite mounting pressure from the UN's war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

After Gen Gotovina's arrest, Carla del Ponte, the chief war crimes prosecutor, said: "I'm now expecting Mladic and Karadzic."

The European commissioner for enlargement, Olli Rehn, called for a more aggressive policy from Belgrade, saying that its policy of encouraging voluntary surrender - which has yielded a number of lower-profile indictees - had reached its limits.

Mr Rehn urged governments in Serbia and Bosnia to "step up their efforts" to find "the remaining indictees, including Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic."

Both countries are susceptible to pressure as they have started negotiations with the EU for a new aid and trade agreement.

Ms Del Ponte said she was angry and disappointed by Serbia's failure to arrest the two. If the UN Security Council decides Serbia is not complying with its obligations it could face renewed sanctions.

With the help of a well-established network of supporters in the area, Karadzic has proved highly elusive, regularly criss-crossing the porous border between Bosnia's Serb republic, and Serbia-Montenegro.