1 down, 3 to go

With the arrest of Stojan Župljanin announced today, that leaves three more people indicted for war crimes on the list to be arrested: Ratko Mladić, Radovan Karadžić, and Goran Hadžić. That will take care of one of the principal conditions for ratification of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia. If the country succeeded in improving its wine and becoming a global tennis superpower, surely it can make that extra step. Samo napred!


Steve Albert said...


One more,then they'll be two.

The thing is, it is Kardzic and Mladic that count.

If Župljanin can be apprehended,so can Mladic. That is the real test as to whether Serbia is ready to meet the E.U.'s conditions for membership.

Eric Gordy said...

Hadzic seems to have been forgotten by everyone. He can't be hard to find (though I agree, he is second league compared to the others).

Aleksandar said...

A commentary by one of the B92 bloggers:


Interesting interpretation of the arrest:

"Although nothing's official with the elections, the coalition building an' all, that Kostunica is finished became clear today when the secret police cast their very public vote by arresting indicted war criminal Stojan Zupljanin.

"For if Kostunica and his mates the Radicals were going to form the next government, you can be sure that those who listen to the mobile phone conversations of criminals and politicians alike would never have arrested a war crimes indictee days before a Radical dominated government takes power, given the stated Radical election pledge that if they were to form the next government, no more fugitives would be sent to the Hague".

Credible conclusion? I think he might be on to something...

Eric Gordy said...

That's interesting, all right. The implications are even more interesting, because if Mr Griffiths is right this means:

1) the sluzbe have been following these folks and have known their movements all along, and

2) they want to arrest them, but have been prevented (presumably for political reasons).

I am guessing there is a good chance that 1 is true, but 2 seems a little odd. Unless the arrest is a sign of a power struggle in the sluzbe?

Aleksandar said...

Is 2) really that odd? Kostunica and his people were responsible for the sluzbe and the police. And if anyone was willing to prevent cooperation with the Hague, especially after Kosovo's independence, wouldn't it have been the High Priest of Serbdom himself?

Eric Gordy said...

It's not the preventing that strikes me as odd, but the wanting. On the other hand, this is something I have seen in police forces before -- conflict between the older generation of people who want to protect their (compromised) interests and the younger generation of people who want to do their jobs.

Dejan said...

Do y'all really think that police (and Secret service) make conscious timing for arrests? I mean, does it really come from the top down: "Arrest so and so next Tuesday"?

I can give it benefit of the doubt and perhaps its just police work that is sloppy (granted, it may be sabotaged).

Take Simovic brothers for example. They are both accused (convicted even) for aiding assassination of Zoran Djindjic.

Both of the brothers were at large for a long time (was it years?) after the assassination. Finally, one of them was arrested in a Belgrade apartment. The other one is still on run.

Sure, war criminals may be treated differently, but it still shows that police work is being done relatively unselectively.

I really doubt Zupljanin's arrest has anything to do with daily politics... At least, I don't see a proper explanation for it. So far, war criminals have been arrested randomly - regardless of the government or pressure from Haague and EU (and still, each time somebody gets arrested, we try to figure out "why now").

Anonymous said...

According to Blog de veille des droits de l'homme en Serbie there seems to have been a little bit of an identity crisis regarding the arrestee.


Eric Gordy said...

Yeah, apparently he was going under the pseudonym Branislav Vukadin. But it looks like the DNA says it's him:


Anonymous said...

Via the Yakima Gulag Press Service "Most recently, he made a narrow escape in March after police launched an action to capture him in the southern Serbian city of Nis. A diary was found at the premises, offering investigators an insight into his whereabouts."

Eric Gordy said...

We shouldnt dismiss the suggestion by Dejan that maybe the police are just doing their job and making arrests when they find people. On the other hand, one comes across details like this:


The story indicates that both Zupljanin and Vlastimir Djordjevic used identity documents issued by MUP in the names of people who had recently before died, which can only be done with some lever-pulling in MUP.

Still, the solution to the mystery could be not that "the police" as a whole are doing or not doing their jobs, but that different people in the police are doing different things.

dejan said...

Eric: Exactly. All this tells us that Župljanin has good friends (or knows corrupt-prone people) in the police.

Hell, if one can pay 20 DEM to get out of driving license suspension, what stops one from getting forged documents or faking finger-prints?

Eric Gordy said...

I have nothing to add to that, except that this fellow Koviljko Lovre sounds like a huge freak.


Sarah Franco said...

One of these days, Mladic will appear "suicided"... he will never be handed alive.

Karadzic will never be handed.

I REALLY hope I am wrong, but if I was a gambler, i would bet my photo camera (my most faithful travel companion) on that.