Coincidence? War crime suspect Mladic arrested in Serbia on the day of Aston’s visit to Belgrade

MladicBELGRADE / PRISTINA — As to international media today the President of Serbia, Boris Tadic announced the arrest of war crime suspect Ratko Mladic, who was the military leader of the Serb forces in Bosnia. Mladic will be brought to the ‘International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia" (ICTY), located in The Hague, Netherlands. He is accused to have committed war crimes with thousands of killings in Srebrenica and Sarajevo. In Serbia Mladic is said to have lived with false documents under the name Milorad Komadic. His sudden arrest appears to be surprising. Since long Serbia faced accusations, not to be willing to show appropriate efforts on this regard. 

By coincidence Ratco Mladic now was caught exactly on the day, on which Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief is expected to meet Serbian President Tadic and Serbian negotiation team leader Stefanovic in Belgrade. Ashton called the arrest "an important step forward for Serbia." During her talks Ashton is expected to address both – the ongoing EU backed technical dialogue of Kosovo and Serbia in Brussels as well as the further EU integration process of Serbia: In this context the ‘Mladic case’ was seen as a main obstacle for Serbia’s possible EU membership. Apart from this Serbia received several positive signals from EU representatives over the last weeks, saying the EU candidate status could be reached within 2011 – and would not depend on Serbia’s formal recognition of Kosovo as an independent state. 

Meanwhile the Serbian President stated, that Mladic’s arrest closed this chapter in Serbian history. "It also opened the doors to membership of the European Union", he added. Reportedly on a news conference Tadic tried to convince the audience that Serbian authorities "… did not calculate when we had to arrest Ratko Mladic".


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