Serbia vows to track down Mladic protectors

BELGRADE, May 28, 2011 (AFP) - Serbian war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic vowed Saturday to bring to justice all those who helped Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic evade capture for 16 years.

"We will continue to pursue all those who have helped Mladic and other fugitives evade justice," Vukcevic told AFP.

"By hiding Mladic they have caused serious damage to this country. Hiding fugitives from the Hague tribunal is a serious crime," he added.

Mladic was detained on Thursday, 16 years after a UN war crimes court issued an indictment charging him with war crimes including masterminding the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

A Belgrade prosecutor appealed Friday against the acquittal of 10 people who had been charged with helping Mladic evade justice, demanding a retrial, the Tanjug news agency reported.

In December a Belgrade court acquitted 10 people accused of aiding and sheltering Mladic between 2002 and 2005 in the full knowledge that he was a wanted war criminal.

Vukcevic said his office would demand to take over the case.

Mladic is expected to be transferred to the UN war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where he will stand trial for genocide and crimes against humanity over his role in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, notably for the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

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