Agencies on “relative failure” to catch Mladić, Hadžić

Serbia’s security agencies say that the fact that Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić have still to be arrested is a “relative failure”.

The security services (BIA) and military security services (VBA), which are in charge of locating the Hague indictees, say that it is a “relative failure” that Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić are still at large.

BIA and VBA say that “all available resources are being used” in the search for the Hague fugitives.

Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac says that nobody from that ministry is in contact with the Hague indictees and that not a single dinar from the state budget is being spent to protect either of them.

’’Nobody has doubts any more that members of the Ministry of Defense have anything to do with the Hague indictees“, says Šutanovac.

He says that he can vouch for his current personnel, but not for those who are now retired.

’’We have a large number of military pensioners, about 55,000, and we cannot guarantee that none of them has contact with them. But the Ministry of Defense is not spending a single dinar to protect any Hague indictee,“ said the minister.

VBA and BIA are tasked with finding out where Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić are and who is in contact with them. Both secret services state that this is a priority.

“What I can tell you is that all available resources are being used to locate, find and extradite to The Hague the two fugitives. The race is still on and there is still enough time for us to ‘win a medal’,” claims Jovan Stojić of BIA.

“All potentials are focused on finding them. Here, in the agency, we know just a part of it. The action team has a complete oversight of all the operations that are in progress,” says Colonel Dejan Janković of BIA.

The fact that the arrest of the Hague indictees has been a priority for a long time now raises the question of whether the two agencies think that it is their failure that Mladić and Hadžić are still at large.

’’Do we consider it a failure? Let’s say relatively. All of them, except those two, have been arrested. That’s not a failure. Still, those two haven’t been arrested so it’s a relative failure,“ says Stojić.

“I don’t know how to answer the question whether we consider it a failure or not. It’s all relative,” says Janković.

The Military Intelligence Agency (VOA) says that it is not directly involved in the search for the Hague indictees.

However, the VOA is exchanging data on the Hague fugitives with foreign intelligence services.

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