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UN tribunal welcomes arrest of former member of Serb paramilitary forces

23 January 2012 – The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s welcomed the arrest of Radovan Stankovic, a former member of a Serb paramilitary unit who faces multiple charges for crimes against humanity.

Mr. Stankovic was arrested over the weekend in Bosnia and Herzegovina, more than four years after he escaped from prison in May 2007.

“Today’s apprehension of Stankovic is significant for the victims of the grave crimes he has been convicted for,” said Serge Brammertz, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

“I hope that this arrest reflects an increased commitment of the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to support the process of bringing to justice those responsible for the grave crimes committed on their territory in the early 1990s.”

Mr. Stankovic was first indicted by the ICTY, which is based in The Hague, in 1992. He was then transferred by the Tribunal to Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2005, where he was convicted to 20 years in prison by the State Court for war crimes, including the rape and enslavement of Muslim women and girls. However, he escaped from prison in Foca two years after his sentencing.

Since then, the ICTY had repeatedly called for his arrest and emphasized the importance of apprehending him to make progress in bringing those responsible for war crimes in the region to justice.

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