News 17 Jun 07

Montenegrins Arrest Kosovo War Crimes Fugitive

Podgorica, Belgrade _ Montenegrin state security agents on Sunday arrested Vlastimir Djordjevic Rodja, a former Serbian police general sought for war crimes during the 1999 Kosovo conflict by the Netherlands-based United Nations tribunal, a top Serbian official said.

In a statement to the Serbian media, Rasim Ljajic, head of the Belgrade government’s committee for the cooperation with the UN war crimes court, confirmed the arrest of Djordjevic who has been at large since 2004.


Djordjevic, 59, was arrested in the Montenegrin coastal resort of Budva "where he was hiding for some time," a Montenegrin security official told Balkan Insight speaking on condition of anonymity. There were no incidents during the arrest, he said.

Meanwhile, Anton Nikiforov, spokesman for the UN war crimes court, also confirmed Djordjevic's arrest and said he expected the former general's transfer to the UN detention unit in Scheveningen, outside The Hague, Belgrade’s Radio B92 reported.

During the Kosovo conflict, Djordjevic was head of Serbian Interior Ministry’s Department for Public Security and in charge of all uniformed police. He remained at his post even after the ouster of former president Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000.

Djordjevic was forced into retirement in 2001 after it was revealed that the Serbian authorities had tried to cover up war crimes committed in Kosovo by relocating the bodies of civilians killed during the conflict to Serbia proper.

In 2003 the UN war crimes tribunal indicted Djordjevic and three other military and police generals and in 2004 Serbian authorities issued an arrest warrant for all four. Djordjevic fled the country immediately afterwards. He was believed to be hiding in Russia.

Following Djordjevic’s arrest four key war crimes fugitives remain at large, including the most wanted suspects, Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic and his former political leader Radovan Karadzic. The remaining two are Stojan Zupljanin, a former Bosnian Serb security official and Goran Hadzic who led the Croatian Serbs during the 1991-1995 war there.

Last month Serbian law enforcement agents and their Bosnian Serb counterparts arrested and extradited Gen. Zdravko Tolimir, sought by the UN tribunal during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war along with Mladic and Karadzic.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus