a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Mladic on his own?

Posted by Thomas Nephew on February 25th, 2006

Writing from Belgrade for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, Balkans expert Tim Judah thinks there may be real movement behind the rumors of Ratko Mladic’s imminent/already/maybe/guess not capture, after speaking with Braca Grubacic, “one of Serbia’s best-connected analysts”:

Whereas in the past, [Grubacic] says, Mladic has lived in army barracks and had tight links to Serbia’s security establishment, Kostunica’s government – determined not to have talks with the EU suspended and also to create some positive PR just at the moment that talks on the future of Kosovo have begun – has finally managed to ‘break Mladic’s relations with the army’. ‘I believe he is on his own now,’ said Grubacic.

Mladic is wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for crimes against humanity in connection with the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre.

Judah’s article continues with an update on the status of the trial of the “Scorpions” involved in the notorious execution video that surfaced last year:

If it had not been for the Mladic story, then another one might have been leading the news in Serbia – the on-going trial of members of the infamous Scorpions militia, who were filmed executing captured Muslims from Srebrenica in 1995. This week one of the accused told the court, ‘It is certain that I am guilty before God, but whether I am guilty for executing my orders, it is up to you to assess.’

Meanwhile, judging by a BBC report, Mladic supporters in the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) were perhaps worried enough — and certainly numerous enough — for 10,000 to turn up for a rally in Belgrade today. An SRS leader pledged there would be “no forgiveness” for anyone surrendering Mladic — suggesting, when I thought about it, that the SRS may be as in the dark as the rest of us.

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