» (E) If they are loyal to war criminals NOW
|(E) If they are loyal to war criminals NOW
|By Nenad N. Bach |
(E) If they are loyal to war criminals NOW
If they are loyal to war criminals NOW, what was happening during the war. That is the subject here. The whole arms embargo should be put on a table and examine. Do we have any team of lawyers who can start the ball rolling?
Two interesting articles on the war criminal Karadzic: Ole Radovan was apparently tipped off by the French NATO contingent (again!): nothing like a reliable NATO partner!
Serbs Thwart U.N. War Crimes Hunt
By George Jahn
Associated Press Writer
Friday, March 8, 2002; 9:41 AM
CELEBICI, Bosnia-Herzegovina –– NATO says he was here.
But even though Radovan Karadzic is wanted for war crimes, villagers in his reputed hide-out say they will never betray the Bosnian Serb wartime leader, and their loyalty is helping him to thwart international efforts to bring him to trial.
Forty miles east of Sarajevo, Celebici, a cluster of buildings perched on a wind-swept plateau, languished in obscurity until a few days ago. That's when black-masked NATO troops swept into the village, blowing down doors and lifting carpets in their search for Karadzic.
The operation appeared to reflect fears that time is running out in the hunt for him and other top war crime suspects, including Ratko Mladic, his general.
Since Europe's bloodiest post-World War II conflict ended in 1995, the number of NATO-led peacekeepers in Bosnia has dropped from 60,000 to 18,000, and further planned cuts may soon leave NATO too weak to fulfill its mandate by catching top fugitives.
But closure on the Bosnian war is impossible as long as Karadzic and Mladic remain free.
Jacques Klein, the U.S. official who heads Bosnia's international police, told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that the pair's arrest is crucial to the country's stability and the reconciliation of its Muslim, Croat and Serb communities. Failure to bring them to trial before the U.N. war crimes tribunal "shows the impotence of the West in the face of evil," he said.
NATO says it was acting on a tip in raiding Celebici. But Karadzic, indicted in 1995 for genocide and crimes against humanity, can count on a wellspring of backing that runs throughout the half of Bosnia inhabited by most of the country's 700,000 Serbs.
"I love him, and I wouldn't betray him," declared elementary teacher Rada Puhalac, assigned to the decaying Celebici schoolhouse searched by the NATO raiders Feb. 28.
To the west in Pale, the highland town that served as Karadzic's capital during his siege of nearby Sarajevo, flower vendor Zorana Vuksanovic proclaims: "God and the people are on his side."
Even in Banja Luka, the down-at-the-heels power base of Bosnian Serbs most critical of Karadzic, many people say NATO should leave him alone.
"They'll never get him," says Aleksandra Stupar, a shop assistant in Banja Luka, reflecting a widespread belief that "Raso" is too foxy to be caught. Bosnian Serb President Mirko Sarovic described Karadzic as "a symbol of freedom" for his people in comments televised Friday.
The battle of wits feeds off a centuries-old conviction that whenever Serbs defend themselves, the outside world tars them as aggressors.
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic used the myth of "Serbs against the world" to stoke the Balkan wars and now is exploiting it at his trial before the U.N. tribunal.
Karadzic hammered at the same theme in launching the Bosnian conflict when the republic declared its independence from Yugoslavia, arguing that Serbs there were only defending themselves against the threat of Muslim and Croat massacres.
The shaggy-haired 56-year-old Serb is a physician, psychiatrist, poet and author of children's books. But to the war crimes tribunal he is a key culprit in the atrocities of the Bosnian war, including the 1995 massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.
In Celebici and beyond, however, his image is of a leader who saved the Serbs from destruction and who now makes fools of his pursuers.
Fact and fiction are also hard to separate when it comes to where – and how – he hides.
Normally reliable Serb sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, say he travels only by night, mostly in remote edges of eastern Bosnia close to borders, allowing him to slip over to the Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro, his birthplace.
The sources say wavy-haired lookalikes travel about to confound the searchers, while the real Karadzic is disguised and surrounded by an inner circle of well-armed bodyguards, as well as two outer layers of residents of whatever area he's in, who act as informants.
"We really think we were very close," said a senior NATO official, who demanded anonymity, describing the attempt to snatch Karadzic at Celebici. "But he enjoys a very high level of support among the population over there and has a well-developed information network."
That popularity is evident in the eastern part of the Bosnian Serb republic.
"We will defend our brother Radovan until death, until doomsday," proclaim freshly photocopied posters hastily pasted over U.S. State Department offers of a $5 million reward for his capture.
Bosnian Serb television now refers to the indicted war criminal as "our first president," and a newly launched Web site to promote "the truth about Radovan Karadzic" proclaims his innocence. A song often heard on Bosnian Serb radio urges Karadzic to "come down from the mountains in your Mercedes" and save his people.
March 04, 2002
FROM THE MARCH 4TH, 2002 LONDON TIMES:
Phone trap for French 'traitor' who saved Karadzic
By Daniel McGrory
NATO chiefs are investigating claims that a French Army captain tipped off sympathisers of Radovan Karadzic that special forces were launching a raid on his mountain hideout last week.
It is said that the betrayal by the French officer in a telephone call to a senior Bosnian policeman gave the war crimes suspect and his entourage just enough time to escape as US Special Forces were closing in.
British Intelligence reportedly monitored the conversation between the French captain, who has not been named, and the senior police officer based in Foca, who passed on the warning immediately to one of Dr Karadzic’s bodyguards.
As a Nato enquiry began yesterday, the role of some in the French contingent was under scrutiny amid longrunning allegations that officers with pro-Serb sympathies have compromised previous attempts to arrest the 57-year-old former Bosnian Serb President, who is wanted on charges of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Last year a French Army officer was jailed for treason for passing Nato secrets to the Serbs during the Kosovo War.
This latest accusation will cast further doubt on Nato’s ability to capture Dr Karadzic and his wartime military commander, General Ratko Mladic.
The French captain is alleged to have telephoned his Bosnian Serb ally at 6.26am on Thursday morning, just as helicopters carrying the American troops were taking off from their base at Tuzla and armoured vehicles belonging to the Nato-led peacekeeping force were sealing off all routes leading to Celebeci, where Dr Karadzic was said to have been hiding in a lumber factory.
Security sources who have heard the brief conversation say that the Bosnian policeman sounds suprised and somewhat indignant at being telephoned so early at home in Foca and asks the Frenchman, who he clearly knows: “What do you want? Why are you calling me?” The captain, who is in Bosnia as part of the Sfor stabilisation force, quickly replies: “You should pay attention to Foca.”
Clearly puzzled by the remark, the policeman asks why and is told: “You know Foca is always of interest to us.”
The hilltop town, 40 miles southwest of the capital, Sarajevo, remains a bastion of support for Dr Karadzic and others on the run from the war crimes tribunal. The former child pscyhiatrist is believed to regularly use hideouts in Foca.
The Bosnian policeman is then heard muttering his thanks to the French traitor and immediately telephones one of the leaders of Dr Karadzic’s private army of bodyguards.
His entourage were staying just six miles away in Celebeci, a remote hilltop village, where Intelligence sources say that Dr Karadzic and around 80 of his staff and his armed minders had arrived late on Tuesday night.
They had appeared in a fast-moving column of 4 x 4 vehicles, with Dr Karadzic in a Range Rover with blacked-out windows. It is thought that they had slipped across the border from his native Montenegro, where his mother still lives and where he now spends most of his time.
A Nato spy in Celebeci reported “eye contact” with Dr Karadzic and two hours before the helicopters took off on their mission there was “hard Intelligence” that he had not moved.
The revelation that the police chief in Foca could so easily contact Dr Karadzic’s camp is evidence of why Nato forces have repeatedly failed to bring the wartime leader to justice, with leaks within its own ranks and collaboration with local security authorities.
Security sources say that after the tip-off, bodyguards pushed Dr Karadzic into one of three indentical vehicles, which set off in different directions across mountain tracks as they were not sure how close Nato troops had reached. Others stayed behind and there are reports of them fighting a long battle with US Special Forces as they escaped through the forests.
One of Dr Karadzic’s senior bodyguards boasted at the weekend that they were also able to monitor Nato’s radio transmissions, which helped them to pick which route to use for their leader. Western security sources doubt that claim and say that it was solely the treachery of the French officer that was to blame.
For the past 48 hours Nato chiefs have been investigating the intercepted telephone call to decide if this was “an accident or betrayal”. One Nato source said: “It could have been a courtesy call from the French officer to warn a local police chief not to be surprised by the sight of lots of Nato armour and the fact that a couple of minutes after this call, all the phones would be cut off as well as power and water.
“But after careful analysis it does seem this was betrayal. The question we have to ask is why the officer did it and we stop it happening again.”
A Nato inquest was already under way after some in the alliance criticised US military chiefs for taking so long to react to the tip-off that Dr Karadzic was in Celebeci and then insisting that only American troops should have the glory of making the capture.
Last night Nato would not say where the French suspect was being held or what would be done with him.
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