Radovan Karadzic, the world’s most wanted war crimes suspect, keeps evading arrest with police help, a Bosnian Serb leader said today.
Ivan Tomljenovic, the vice president of Republika Srpska, said Karadzic was hiding in the Serb part of Bosnia where unidentified police officials were providing “generous help”.
Tomljenovic told a Bosnian newspaper that he had the names of the policemen involved but would not disclose them.
“Karadzic is a very intelligent man and has organised his protection very well. He has well paid and very loyal people,” Tomljenovic said.
In a first reaction, the Democratic Party of the Bosnian Serb republic called on Tomljenovic to identify Karadzic’s alleged protectors.
Karadzic was the leader of Bosnia’s Serbs during the 1992-1995 ethnic war that took more than 200,000 lives and left 1.8 million people homeless.
He and fellow fugitive Ratko Mladic, his top general, were indicted by the UN court at The Hague, Netherlands, for their alleged roles in wartime atrocities, including the massacre of up to 8,000 Muslims in the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica.
NATO-led peacekeepers deployed in Bosnia have a standing order to arrest Karadzic if they come across him, but dozens of raids – the latest earlier this month in Pale, Karadzic’s wartime stronghold - have been unsuccessful.
Peacekeepers have failed to arrest Karadzic in part because a network of supporters helps him financially and keeps him informed about troop movements.
Karadzic is believed to be changing his location, sometimes daily, to evade arrest.
Bosnia is comprised of a Muslim-Croat federation and the Bosnian Serb republic, whose leadership has resisted pressure to cooperate with the US court in apprehending war crimes suspects, including Karadzic.