Given the lack of reactions in Belgrade, it is said that Thursday’s raid on the home of war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic’s son, was not as successful as expected.
The Belgrade home was entered by special units of the Serbian police in the morning, which searched the home for eight hours before leaving.
Belgrade officials said on Thursday that the search was aimed at gathering information that could potentially lead to the arrest of Mladic – the former Bosnian Serb military commander wanted on genocide charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ITCY – and that it was not an actual search for the fugitive himself.
A statement by the head of Belgrade’s office for cooperation with the Hague-based tribunal, Dusan Ignjatovic, had little to say regarding Thursday’s action, only stating that such actions “would continue,” and that they should eventually lead to the completion of Serbia’s obligations to the Tribunal.
“We will see if the action was successful. As far as I understand, the people involved were reasonably satisfied,” Ignjatovic told local news service B92.
Serbia’s further progress towards gaining candidate status for becoming a member of the European Union hinges on the extradition of its remaining two fugitives, Mladic and former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic, accused of crimes against Croatian civilians between 1991 and 1993.
Mladic stands accused of genocide, including the murder of up to 8,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) civilians in Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 war.
Belgrade claims that similar actions of raiding and searching locations in which they suspect information regarding Mladic’s whereabouts would continue.
Mladic is considered a war hero by hard-line nationalists in Serbia and is certain that he has a network of people aiding him with financial and logistical support in hiding.