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The Netherlands welcomes Karadzic arrest

Tuesday 22 July 2008

The Netherlands is ‘extremely satisfied’ that Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic has been arrested, prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende said from his holiday address on Tuesday.

Karadzic, who has been on the run for over 10 years, is wanted for war crimes in connection with the massacre of 7,500 men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995 among other charges.

‘This is a small piece of justice for the families [of those killed], Joris Voorhoeve, Dutch defence minister at the time, told NOS news. Srebrenica was under the protection of Dutch UN troops at the time of the massacre.

Former prime minister Wim Kok said the tough line the Netherlands has taken on Serbia over the past few years had certainly helped bring him to justice. ' Maximum pressure was exerted,' Kok was reported as saying by the Volkskrant.

The Netherlands had refused to sign an treaty paving the way for Serbia to join the EU unless Belgrade got tougher on war criminals.

Chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz of the Yugoslavia tribunal in The Hague congratulated the Serbian authorities on the arrest. ‘This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest for over a decade,’ he said in a statement.

Karadzic was apparently arrested as after several weeks surveillance. He is now in the hands of the war crimes tribunal authorities in Belgrade, who have declined to talk about the case.

NOS tv reports that at least 10 camera crews have gathered at the high security UN wing at Scheveningen prison, ready to film Karadzic’s arrival. Slobodan Milosevic was also held in the unit, arriving by helicopter in the middle of the night. He is expected to arrive in the Netherlands within the next two days.

For the full list of charges against Karadzic, click here

© DutchNews.nl


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