Serb war criminal arrested near Belgrade

Stojan Zupljanin, a Serb wanted by the UN war crimes tribunal based in The Hague, has been arrested near Belgrade. Zupljanin is accused of playing a central role in the killing of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in the 1992-1995 war.


Stojan Zupljanin, one of four Serbs still wanted by the UN war crimes tribunal based in The Hague, was arrrested near Belgrade on Wednesday, a justice official told AFP.

The former Bosnian Serb police commander "was arrested near Belgrade at around 12:30 pm (1030 GMT) and transferred to the war crimes court" in the Serbian capital, said the justice official who declined be identified.

In The Hague, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) confirmed the arrest.

"I can confirm we were informed by the Serbian authorities that he has indeed been arrested, said ICTY spokeswoman Olga Kavran, adding that the next move would be for Zupljanin to be transferred to The Hague for detention.

"We cannot say when," she said. "That will depend on a number of formalities in the country where he was arrested."

"Once in the detention unit, within a day or two, he will make his first appearance before the judges, and he will be given the opportunity to enter a plea," she explained.

Zupljanin, 56, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged central role in the hostilities and the destruction of the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat communities in northwestern Bosnia.

Still at large are Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, his military commander Ratko Mladic, and Goran Hadzic, wartime president of the self-proclaimed Serb republic of Krajina.

Thousands were held in horrific conditions in Serb-run camps during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Many did not survive, and in the Prijedor area alone, more than 1,500 people were murdered in three notorious camps.

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