Serbian president warns of war crimes network

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The Independent Online

Serbia's last major war crimes suspect was able to evade capture thanks to a network of hardliners and may have spent time in Russia, according to the Serb President and investigators.

Goran Hadzic could be transferred to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague later today, his lawyer Toma Fila said.

He confirmed that the 52-year-old had fathered a child with a woman who was not his wife during his years on the run.

"He will be transferred to The Hague after his families visit today and tomorrow," Mr Fila said.

Mr Hadzic, a Croatian Serb wartime leader, was indicted for crimes against humanity during the 1991-95 Croatian war. Serbian security officials arrested him on Wednesday on a forest road in the Fruska Gora national park region about 65km (40 miles) north of Belgrade.

"He did not resist arrest. He froze for a moment when he saw the arrest team," said a state security operative who did not want to be named. "He had a handgun but didn't reach for it."

Officials believe Mr Hadzic had spent at least part of his time on the run in Russia and had investigated electronic payments linked to him, the operative said.

Serbian President Boris Tadic said authorities would unmask a network of hardliners who had helped war crimes suspects evade justice.