Prosecutor hails Bosnian Serb war criminal's recapture

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A prosecutor with the UN criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Sunday welcomed the recapture of Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Stankovic, who escaped from a Bosnian jail four years ago.

"We are satisfied that Radovan Stankovic, initially indicted by the Tribunal and transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina where he was convicted, has finally been apprehended," International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said.

Stankovic's re-arrest was "significant for the victims of the grave crimes he has been convicted for," Brammertz added in a statement.

Now 42, Stankovic had escaped from Foca, southeast of the capital Sarajevo, in May 2007, during a fake visit to the dentist just a month after having been convicted of war crimes and being handed a 20-year sentence.

He had been jailed for having raped and enslaved Muslim women during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

In the end it was a tip-off that led to his arrest, Mirna Soja, a spokeswoman for the Republika Srpska interior ministry, has told AFP.

Stankovic was originally arrested in 2002 by NATO troops in Bosnia, and his case was the first to be transferred to Bosnian authorities by the ICTY in 2005.

Prosecutor Brammertz since then regularly called on the Bosnian authorities to track down and recapture Stankovic.

Bosnia's 1992-1995 war claimed up to 200,000 lives and left around half the former Yugoslav republic's population of 4.4 million people homeless.

© 2012 AFP

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