FORMER Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was arrested after information provided to investigators by The Hague's other most wanted man, Ratko Mladic, German intelligence sources have revealed.
General Mladic, Karadzic's military commander who led Bosnian Serb troops during the massacre at Srebrenica, is one of two Balkan war crimes suspects still on the run. The other is Goran Hadzic, a former Serb politician on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia's (ICTY) wanted list for “ethnic cleansing” in Croatia.
Mladic's capture is expected within weeks as his political support network crumbles and the European Union continues to pressure Serbia to hand him over, The Australian reports.
Britain's Daily Telegraph cited German intelligence sources as saying Mladic had been negotiating with those hunting him over the terms of his capture, and “gave information (on Karadzic's whereabouts) to save himself”.
A source close to the German foreign intelligence service, the BND, said Mladic wanted to avoid a trial at the ICTY in The Hague, which is due to wind up in 2010 or 2011. He hoped instead to stand trial in a local court in Serbia, where he is still regarded as a hero by some.
Serb security sources dismissed the theory that Karadzic's arrest was part of a deal to allow Mladic to remain on the run or dictate the terms of his capture.
“Mladic gave some information on Karadzic, probably several months ago, to save himself,” the German source said. “That means he knows there will be a trial.”
The same source also claimed Western intelligence agencies, including the CIA, helped with Karadzic's capture. Serbian authorities were last night investigating who helped Karadzic assume the false identity that allowed him to elude capture.