Serbian Police Search Home of Fugitive Mladic’s Son
Serbian police searched the home of Darko Mladic, the son of war crime fugitive Ratko Mladic, as officials visited Brussels to submit answers to a questionnaire designed to bring Serbia closer to the European Union.
The search of the home in Belgrade began today and was ordered by war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic to find “evidence and clues pointing to the location where Mladic is hiding,” Vukcevic’s office said in an e-mailed statement.
“It’s very important to send a clear message that it doesn’t pay to hide Hague fugitives because that costs this state a lot,” the prosecutor’s deputy and spokesman Bruno Vekaric said.
The Netherlands-based United Nations War Crimes Tribunal indicted Mladic for atrocities during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia- Herzegovina. He has been on the run for more than a decade and his arrest remains the key condition for Serbia’s further progress in joining the EU.
Police also interrogated retired general Aco Tomic, who is suspected of helping hide Mladic, Vekaric said in a live broadcast on B92 television. Tomic is one of five people who police believe may be helping Mladic evade justice, he said.
Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic met top EU officials today to hand over answers to around 2,500 questions in the questionnaire and the government in Belgrade hopes that the country will become an EU member candidate at the EU summit in December.
The Balkan nation took “a major step closer” toward the bloc with the submission of the questionnaire, European Commission President Jose Barroso said.
“Serbia reached an important milestone on its path to the European Union,” Barroso told reporters in Brussels after meeting with Cvetkovic. The commission aims to give its opinion on Serbia “in the second half of this year,” Barroso said.
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