Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, accused architect of massacres making him one of the world's top war crimes fugitives, was arrested Monday evening in a raid that ended a near 13-year manhunt, the country's president and the U.N. tribunal said.
Karadzic is the suspected mastermind of mass killings that the U.N. war crimes tribunal described as "scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history." They include the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, Europe's worst slaughter since World War II.
"This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest for over a decade. It is also an important day for international justice because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law," said Serge Brammertz, the tribunal's head prosecutor.
President Boris Tadic's office said Karadzic has been taken before the investigative judge of Serbia's war crimes court _ a legal procedure that indicates he could soon be extradited to the U.N. court at The Hague, Netherlands.
If Karadzic is transferred to there, he would be the 44th Serb suspect extradited to the tribunal. The others include former President Slobodan Milosevic, who was ousted in 2000 and died in 2006 while on trial on war crimes charges.
Something about capturing, trying, and carrying out sentence on war criminals makes me smile. Don't know why...
UPDATE: Let's not forget that Ratko Mladic is still out there:
Prosecutors in The Hague and officials of the European Union have long suspected that he was, in fact, hiding in Serbia, and in recent years have pressed officials in Belgrade to hand him over. The failure to arrest Mr. Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the still fugitive Bosnian Serb general also indicted on war crimes, has stood as a block to greater Serbian ties to the European Union after the wars in Bosnia and later Kosovo.
“This is a historic event,” said Richard Holbrooke, who brokered the agreements in Dayton, Ohio, to end the war in Bosnia in 1995. “Of the three most evil men of the Balkans, Milosevic, Karadzic and Mladic, I thought Karadzic was the worst. The reason was that Karadzic was a real racist believer. Karadzic really enjoyed ordering the killing of Muslims, whereas Milosevic was an opportunist.”