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The BBC's Jane Bennett-Powell
"An international warrant was issued for General Dusko Sikirica's arrest"
 real 28k

Sunday, 25 June, 2000, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
Bosnia war crimes suspect arrested
Dusko Sikirica
Sikirica wore ski goggles to mask his identity
The Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect captured by British peacekeeping troops has arrived at a United Nations detention unit in the Hague.

Bosnian Serb General Dusko Sikirica, commander of the so-called Keraterm concentration camp, was detained in Prijedor, north-west Bosnia.

Later this week, General Sikirica is expected to face charges at the Hague war crimes tribunal of genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and violations of the laws or customs of war.

The charges relate to his time in charge of the camp in 1992, when he is suspected to have been overseeing a regime in which hundreds of non-Serb prisoners - principally Muslims - were allegedly sexually assaulted, tortured or killed.

The 36-year-old general is reported to have been tied up and taken from his home.

Indictment

He was indicted by the tribunal in 1995.


The international community has not forgotten one of the most gruesome episodes of the war

Joint UK ministerial statement

A BBC correspondent in the Hague says his trial will be significant because it will be joined to the trials of two deputy commanders of the Keraterm camp who were brought before the tribunal last year.

Britain's Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon, and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook praised the Nato-led British S-For forces for capturing another war crimes suspect.

'Not forgotten'

In a joint statement they said: "Our robust approach has meant that we have now dealt with over half of those to known to be indicted for war crimes.

"This detention shows that the international community has not forgotten one of the most gruesome episodes of the war, and is determined that those responsible should be brought to justice in the Hague, where they will receive a fair trial."

It is believed that troops from the British Special Air Service, or SAS, were involved in arresting Mr Sikirica. The SAS has been given the role of picking up the majority of the remaining war-crimes suspects.

Twenty-one people accused of atrocities during the Bosnian war have been transferred to the UN War Crimes Tribunal.

Twenty-seven indicted war crimes suspects still remain at large, including the two best-known - the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his general Ratko Mladic.

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See also:

05 Mar 00 | Europe
War crimes suspects arrested
26 Apr 00 | Europe
New war crimes court in Kosovo
28 Apr 00 | Europe
Bosnian Serb denies war crimes
20 Mar 00 | Europe
Bosnian rape camp trial opens
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