LYON, France – The arrest by Serbian authorities of Radovan Karadzic, wanted by a United Nations war crimes tribunal for charges including genocide and who was also the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice, has been applauded by the world’s largest police organization.
Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb political leader who had been on the run for nearly 13 years, faces a number of charges brought by the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) including murder, inhumane acts, extermination and other crimes committed during the 1992-1995 war.
INTERPOL’s 37th European Regional Conference in May this year approved a recommendation for all National Central Bureaus in each of its 186 member countries to provide the widest possible assistance to locate and arrest the four remaining fugitives – including Karadzic - wanted by the ICTY before its scheduled closure in December 2008.
“The Serbian authorities are to be commended for their arrest of Karadzic, one of the most wanted fugitives from international justice,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
“INTERPOL has been working closely with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and will continue to do so until the two remaining fugitives Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic, who are still wanted by the ICTY and also subject of INTERPOL Red Notices, are captured.
“Karadzic’s arrest, which comes just weeks after Bosnian Serb commander Stojan Zupljanin was taken into custody, is a clear signal that all those wanted in connection with these war crimes should no longer believe that they can evade justice,” added Mr Noble.
63-year-old Karadzic is charged with genocide for the murder of nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebenica in 1995. The indictment also charges Karadzic with responsibility for the shelling of Sarajevo which resulted in the killing and wounding of thousands, including many women and children.
INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support (FIS) unit at the General Secretariat in Lyon, France has been liaising closely with its network of specialist investigators, National Central Bureaus particularly in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and the ICTY in the exchange of information and leads concerning the possible location of Karadzic and other fugitives wanted for war crimes.