Page last updated at 02:03 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 03:03 UK

Arrest of Karadzic is 'justice'

Paddy Ashdown
Paddy Ashdown has hailed the arrest of Radovan Karadzic

Paddy Ashdown has described the arrest of war crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic as an "extremely important piece of justice for the world at large".

Lord Ashdown who was the former EU High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said the arrest was "a great breakthrough for Serbia".

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said it meant a brighter future for Serbia.

The Bosnian Serb wartime leader disappeared in 1996 and had been indicted for war crimes and genocide.

This arrest will help close the region's decades of conflict, and pave the way for a brighter, European future for Serbia and the region

Foreign Secretary David Miliband

Lord Ashdown said Mr Karadzic, who was arrested by Serbian security services, was involved in the most "terrible and black period of crime" since World War II.

He added: "I want to see this properly. I mean, I've heard so many rumours in the past he was in this cafe, he was on this hilltop, he was in this farm, he was in this bit of forest.

"But if they have got him then that is a very significant breakthrough for Serbia, for the Balkans and for justice.

"If this is true it's a great breakthrough for Serbia, it's a great piece of justice for Bosnia and it will be an extremely important piece of justice for the world at large."

Foreign Secretary David Miliband hailed Mr Karadzic's arrest, and said it would lead to a brighter future for Serbia.

Mr Miliband said: "This is good news. I am glad that the Serbian authorities have successfully captured Karadzic, who has evaded arrest for over 10 years.

Radovan Karadzic
Radovan Karadzic disappeared in 1996

"This arrest will help close the region's decades of conflict, and pave the way for a brighter, European future for Serbia and the region."

Shadow foreign secretary William Hague also welcomed the news of Mr Karadzic's arrest.

"It is important that the world shows that no war criminal will ever be safe or indefinitely be able to escape," he said.

"Bosnia needs justice and closure and this is an important milestone in this journey. We hope that Ratko Mladic will now also be swiftly apprehended."

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