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Serbo Journal

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Serbia claims Mladic network comprises 130 people

Serbia has discovered a network of 130 people who have helped to hide Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander and fugitive war crimes suspect, a minister has said. "But most of those people are in Republika Srpska," the Serb-run part of neighbouring Bosnia, Serbia-Montenegro Human Rights Minister Rasim Ljajic said in an interview published Sunday in the Blic newspaper.

Mladic is wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during Bosnia's 1992-95 war. A deadline set by the European Union for Serbia to hand him over expired on Sunday. Both the EU and NATO have warned that failure to give Mladic up could jeopardise Serbia-Montenegro's chances of joining those blocs. On Friday, Brussels threatened Belgrade with sanctions if Mladic was not handed over "in the next few days".

Serbian authorities claim not to know where the fugitive is, despite repeated allegations from the chief UN war crimes prosecutor that he is on Serbian territory under the protection of elements in the security forces. Ljajic said the new information on Mladic's network of aides could help to track him down. "We have more information than before ... we have made progress but the European Union will only appreciate the result, not our efforts," he said.

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