Sunday, June 19, 2005

Mladic puts price on his own head - The Sunday Times

Eve-Ann Prentice, Belgrade, and Tom Walker

ONE of Europe’s most wanted war crimes suspects, General Ratko Mladic, has struck a deal for $5m (£2.75m) “compensation” if he gives himself up before the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia — which was carried out by his forces.

Officials close to the negotiations said Mladic, who has spent a decade on the run, demanded the money for his family and bodyguards in return for an agreement to surrender to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague.

The deal was brokered by a shadowy circle of Serb oligarchs, many of whom made their fortunes under Slobodan Milosevic, the former president already on trial in the Hague.

The oligarchs are anxious to put Serbia and Montenegro on track for membership of the European Union. Preliminary talks have effectively been blocked because of the Serbian authorities’ failure to hand over either Mladic or Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb president. Both men stand accused of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Prosecutors from the tribunal are prepared to turn a blind eye to the means used to persuade Mladic, 62, to fly to Holland, provided he arrives before next month’s anniversary.

Even with a deal almost in place, however, officials are worried that the general may kill himself rather than submit to arrest. He is said to have suffered from bouts of depression since his daughter Ana, a medical student in Belgrade, committed suicide in 1994.

During the Srebrenica massacre, which began on July 11, 1995, more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by troops and paramilitaries under Mladic’s command as they tried to flee a United Nations “safe area”. Another 10,000 died during the shelling of Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb forces from 1992-95.

Sources in Serbia said the portly general realised in December that his days of freedom were numbered, when he was warned by his security advisers that international pressure for his arrest was becoming irresistible. The Serbian government has been denied aid worth tens of millions of pounds because Mladic and Karadzic remain at large.

Members of the FSB, the Russian security service — including one officer who was close to Mladic during the Bosnian war — have also been involved in the delicate negotiations, the sources said.

During his years on the run Mladic has been spotted occasionally near his former military bases in eastern Bosnia. On several occasions he has been seen at restaurants and sports events in Belgrade.

Reports in recent weeks have put him in Bosnia, a variety of provincial Serbian cities, Macedonia and even Russia. But a reliable source has said that he was in his house in a quiet cul-de-sac in Kosutnjak, a suburb of Belgrade.

The oligarchs, several of whom have property and business interests in London, were behind the recent handovers of other war crimes suspects to the Hague including General Nebojsa Pavkovic, who commanded Yugoslav troops in Kosovo.

Money is also believed to have been paid in such cases, though substantially less than the $5m promised to Mladic. The general, an avowed communist who was notorious for his anti-western rants, is said to have seen that figure as symbolic because the same amount has been offered by Washington for information leading to his arrest.

Vladan Batic, a former justice minister, criticised the negotiations over money and called for an investigation into the oligarchs’ growing influence.

“There are people ready to finance the extradition of war criminals in order to legalise their dirty money,” he said. “That way, everyone is happy: indictees, businessmen — and the government.”

However, Carla Del Ponte, the tribunal’s chief prosecutor, told the UN last week that “great changes have been noticed in the stance of the Serbian government”. She said she had become “certain” that the Serbs were ready to extradite Mladic.

Foreign diplomats have also signalled their approval, easing pressure on the government of Vojislav Kostunica, the Serb prime minister. America has already released £5.5m in aid money to Serbia that had previously been frozen because of the impasse over Mladic.

Serbian public opinion about Mladic remains deeply divided and many Serbs still see him as a hero. The climate has been changed in part by the recent broadcast on several television channels of a video showing members of the Scorpions, a Serb paramilitary unit, shooting Muslim prisoners in the back.

The country’s parliament failed last week to pass a bill condemning the Srebrenica massacre as a crime of genocide because of objections from right-wing radicals. Their leader, Nikoslav Tomic, urged Mladic to commit suicide rather than give himself up.

If Mladic does come to trial his testimony should help to answer many of the mysteries that still surround Srebrenica, chiefly why UN forces failed to intervene.

Serbian security sources who were watching the Mladic deal take shape last week claimed that in the lead-up to the massacre, the general’s behaviour had become increasingly erratic — putting him beyond the control of either Karadzic or Milosevic in Belgrade.

But Mladic’s evidence could influence Milosevic’s trial. One source said: “He’ll sing like a canary, just you see.”


Anonymous said...

For the right amount of money Serbs will kill their own mothers!

The rest you can imagine.

Truly disgusting people, they really are.

Martyr said...

your moms disgusting, she gave my syphilis and gonhorea, but seriously, we dont care what you albanians think of us. We personally dont even recognize Shqiparia as a country, but as 1 biguntain

Anonymous said...

Civilised are you?

The problem with Serbs is they dont care what anyone thinks about them.

Anonymous said...

Martyr you are becoming lamer and lamer. Who the fvck cares wether a lame Serb recognizes something.
" We personally"- Does that make sense? WTF are you talking about man? How many different personalities live inside your troubled little brain?
You are a waste of skin, vaginal discharge.

Anonymous said...

Media Monitor

Serbian failure to pass Srebrenica resolution is a disgrace for Europe - CoE
Jun 20, 2005, 16:25 GMT

Text of report in English by Bosnian news agency Onasa web site

Strasbourg, 20 June: Opening the summer session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, speaker Rene van der Linden said that the time is nigh for Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the two individuals most responsible for genocide in Srebrenica, to face the ICTY [International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia].

"Justice must be served," van der Linden said, adding that it is a disgrace that the Serbian Assembly failed to adopt a declaration on genocide in Srebrenica.

Van der Linden said the recently broadcast video material depicting the murder of Srebrenica civilians is a disgrace for Europe. He added that he is sorry that soldiers from his country, the Netherlands, failed to do anything to prevent the murder of more than 8,000 civilians.

Van der Linden said it was horrifying to see Orthodox priests bless war criminals, and added that the video material is undeniable evidence for all those who disbelieved that the genocide was committed.

Source: Onasa news agency web site, Sarajevo, in English 20 Jun 05

BBC Mon EU1 EuroPol cal

Anonymous said...

The article above pretty much sums up Martyr and his all nation......A bunch of thugs and rapists

They have hit the self destruct button! Your days are numbered, if you are not willing to adopt!!! I was going to say i feel sorry but i want...Instead i am going to track you and see if you in some way or another are involved, as you suggest, in raping the inocent!!! If yes you thugish person will get what you deserve
Sleep tight

Anonymous said...

Leave the poor psycho alone. His mommy probably didn't hug him enough so now he takes all the rage he has for that bitch out on the world.

This article is about Mladic, yet another bitchafied serb. This one was funny though. What the hell, if the serbs pay up the money, i say let them pay it. Boy it will be fun to watch this sorry little dick-for-brain get hauled away to jail. They say he might commit suicide and that is alright as well just PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE someone make a video of it because I am want to show my future children what happens when you get bitchafied.

Chris Blaku said...

Martyr- you might be interested to learn a few things about your country that I find amusing.

The "hero" Knez Lazar of the Battle of 1389, who was executed by Sultan Murat I, before being killed by the Albanian Milesh Kopili, actually left quite a bloodline after his loss (due to the betrayal of his cousin at a decisive point in the battle). What happened to his kin, is particularly amusing. His son, Stefan proved to be an ineffective leader amongst his kingdom in Serbia, which was divided between himself, and other noblemen. Lazar's daughter, Olivera (Stefan's sister), was married to Sultan Beyazit I (son of Murat I, who killed her father). This lead to the cooperation of Serbians with the ottomans in 1395, against Pope Bonifice's crusade called upon at the urging of King Sigmonsond of Hungary. The Turks and Serbs won this battle... But Beyazit had a problem with Central Asian conquerers years later, where his wife Olivera (again, Knez Lazar's daughter) was abducted and forced to feed the Central Asian conquerer wine in a state of nudity. Stefan tried to petition for her release with monetary compensation (which he derived from the exploitation of Kosova's mines), yet the Conquerers resisted.

Pretty funny outcome for the son and daughter of the most prized Serbian hero ever, huh?

Anonymous said...

This site is a total joke. It is a bunch of Albanian propaganda combined with posts consisting primarily of extremely anti-Serb and anti-Albanian racist remarks. How sad.

Anonymous said...

Chris, the happiness you derive from another country's travails is sickening. The Serbs have done some bad stuff, but some of the things I read here are scary.

Chris Blaku said...

Well the nature of two countries at war will be particularly dark with regard to opinion of its inhabitants.

Whether or not you find my happiness of Serbian historical mishaps sickening is neither here nor there, as you have absolutely no clue what that story of the Serbian hero Lazar has done to bring suffering to the Albanian people of the Balkans. That story has twisted the Serbian population into a state of madness and blind patriotism not seen since Nazi Germany, and created a genocide machine that has wiped millions of people from the face of the Earth. The fact that the story is itself false, and that Lazar's bloodline met with such a distasteful demise, with his daughter surving barbarian conquers in a state of constant nudity, is comfort to those that have suffered or seen suffering.

So spare me your quasi civlized opinion, it means absolutely nothing to me. And by the way, please refer to my comments or begin a debate, dont try to hurt my feelings.

Chris Blaku said...

By the way, the "Albanian propaganda" is backed by historical facts in my case, Serbian history is based on bed time stories taught by mountain treading Serbian women.

Anonymous said...

How can you take yourself seriously?

Anonymous said...

I've never been to a website that overflows with this much bigotry . Take this blog off the web, for the betterment of civilization.

Do all Albanians here think that each and every Serb is a monster, that Serbs are the scourge of the Earth, and vice versa?

Most of the comments made are a detriment to educated debate. But unfortunately, even the more "educated" bloggers are racist and closed-minded.

Chris Blaku said...

To the supposed education and progressive liberal thinkers that sit here and criticize our thoughts and opinions:

Do you supposed the European Jews and German Nazis should have had a constructive debate after one group massacred the other? Perhaps they should have sat down for tea and cookies so as to not spoil the civilized nature of their talks.

Please give me a break- either bring something to debate about or be on your way.

Chris Blaku said...

I take myself seriously because I am armed with the facts- you however, sit on the sidelines and criticize my opionions without bringing a differing view with which to debate against.

Like I said- either disagree and mentions reasons or be on your way.