Serbian Agents Probe Financing of War Crimes Fugitives

12 November 2008 Belgrade – Serbian police have been checking several private business enterprises in the capital over the past week in an apparent attempt to cut off financial support to war crimes fugitives Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic, a security agency official told Balkan Insight.

“We want to see who is financing the two and how they are being financed, and we are getting some results,” the operative said on condition of anonymity.”Financiers are the key to apprehending them,” he added, but declined to elaborate further.
 
The most recent operation came just days after the Serbian elite police unit, the Gendarmerie carried out a five-hour raid on the Vujic factory just outside the city of Valjevo.

They left the factory with 13 photos allegedly showing the owner of the factory with “some Hague fugitives but not Ratko Mladic” Serbia`s RTS web portal reported.

The company’s owner, Vidoje Vujic, denied allegations about ties to war crimes fugitives. “I have never seen or met Ratko Mladic,” Vujic was quoted by local media as saying.

Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military commander during the 1992-95 war, has been indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for war crimes and genocide, including the killing of as many as 8,000 Muslims from the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

In July, Serbian authorities arrested Mladic’s political leader Radovan Karadzic and handed him over to the Netherlands-based court.

Hadzic, a former leader of Serbs in Croatia was indicted for his role during the 1991-1995 war there. He went underground after the ouster of former President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000.

The raid also came ahead of the upcoming visit of chief war crimes prosecutor Serge Brammertz to Belgrade.

Brammertz’s report on Serbia’s cooperation with the tribunal to the UN Security Council in December will be a key for speeding up implementation of the Stabilization and Association Deal between the European Union and the government in Belgrade.

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