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Last Updated: Monday, 21 February, 2005, 15:45 GMT
Mladic deputy surrenders to Hague
Retired Bosnian Serb general Milan Gvero
Gen Gvero was army spokesman during the 1992-95 war
A former Bosnian Serb general has surrendered to face war crimes charges at the UN tribunal in The Hague.

Milan Gvero was wartime deputy to Ratko Mladic, one of the tribunal's most wanted, facing accusations of genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

The charges against Gen Gvero are not expected to be made public until he arrives in The Hague later this week.

The Serbian government - under pressure to hand over war crimes suspects - said Gen Gvero gave himself up voluntarily.

"The Serbian government highly appreciates Gen Gvero's decision to leave of his own will and sees such a decision as a moral one and in the interests of the state," an official statement said.

The statement's wording was carefully chosen for domestic public consumption, says the BBC's Matt Prodger in Belgrade.

Most Serbs oppose sending suspects to The Hague, and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica says he refuses to order the arrest within Serbia of those who have been indicted.

Sealed indictment

But the Serb authorities have come under increasing Western pressure to hand over those wanted by the UN war crimes tribunal.

Gen Gvero is the subject of a sealed indictment, which means the contents are only made public after the suspect surrenders or is arrested.

Prosecutors at The Hague said the charges against Gen Gvero would only be revealed once he is in court.

The 67-year-old old general made his name in the early 1990s as a spokesman for the Yugoslav army and as the deputy of army chief Ratko Mladic.

He will be the fourth general to have been transferred from Serbia to The Hague in the past five months.

Ratko Mladic and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic are still at large, and are believed to be in either Serbia and Montenegro or the Bosnian Serb Republic.

Both men face 16 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws of war. Their squads are accused of killing more than 7,500 Muslims at Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia in 1995.

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