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War crimes fugitive Mladic was hiding in Serbia until last year: Serb official

[JURIST] A Serbian government official has told AP that war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] was hiding in Serbia until last year, but his current location remains unknown. Rasim Ljajic [official profile], Serbia's Minister of Human and Minority Rights and head of a government committee working with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website] at The Hague said Saturday that Serbian authorities hoped that information concerning Mladic's previous hideouts would lead to the former Bosnian Serb commander himself. Although the Serbian government has hitherto dismissed claims by ICTY war crimes tribunal prosecutors and others that Mladic was in Serbia in the past, Serbian President Boris Tadic said in a Serb daily Saturday that the capture of Mladic is in "the vital interest of this country."

Mladic is wanted for allegedly organizing the 1995 slaughter of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica [JURIST news archive], Bosnia. The US has cut off aid to Serbia [JURIST report] due to its failure to arrest Mladic. The European Union also suspended membership talks [JURIST report] with Serbia last month for the same reason. AP has more.

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