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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Bosnia genocide suspect arrested
Wanted posters showing Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic
Mladic and Karadzic top the Balkans most wanted list
The Nato-led troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina have arrested former Bosnian Serb military officer, Momir Nikolic, accused of committing war crimes and genocide during the Bosnian war in the 1990s.


There will be no hiding place for anyone accused by the tribunal of these horrific crimes.

George Robertson, Nato Secretary-General
"Nikolic is accused of genocide, forcible transfer and inhumane acts as crimes against humanity and murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war," a statement by the Nato-led Stabilization Force (S-For) said.

Mr Nikolic has been indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague for allegedly contributing to the killing and systematic execution by Serb forces of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men in the Srebrenica enclave area in 1995.

S-For said Mr Nikolic was arrested in his family house in eastern Bosnia in the morning and that he was being transferred to The Hague tribunal.

"There were no casualties sustained in the operation by S-For, Nikolic or anyone in the surrounding area," a Nato spokesman told the Reuters news agency.

Bosnian Serb police officials said the arrest was made by dozens of mask-wearing people in civilian clothes.

Warning

Mr Nikolic was a deputy intelligence chief with the Bratunac brigade which allegedly took part in the summarily executions in Srebrenica, which was considered by the UN a "safe haven".

The Yugoslav President, Vojislav Kostunica
Kostunica: no handovers until legislation is passed

Nato said his capture should serve as a warning to other indicted war crimes suspects still on the run.

"There will be no hiding place for anyone accused by the tribunal of theses horrific crimes," Nato Secretary-General George Robertson said in a statement.

"Let me be crystal clear to those with guilty consciences: you have only two choices - turn yourself in with dignity or justice will be brought to you."

The arrest of Mr Nikolic comes one month after two failed attempts by S-For troops in Bosnia to catch former Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Ratko Mladic, who top The Hague's most wanted list.

See also:

01 Apr 02 | Europe
War crimes row erupts in Belgrade
04 Mar 02 | Europe
Karadzic 'saved by French leak'
12 Dec 01 | Europe
French major jailed as Serb spy
28 Feb 02 | Europe
Nato's Karadzic hunt draws blank
28 Feb 02 | Europe
The race to catch Karadzic
01 Mar 02 | Europe
Where are Karadzic and Mladic?
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