12/01/2005

EUFOR, RS MUP, arrest Sarovic

My heart skipped a beat this morning as I read the headline in Pravda (Moscow), "Bosnian Serb police arrest former Bosnian Serb President." Turns out it wasn't Karadzic, but Mirko Sarovic, who has remained active in the SDS and is accused of funneling millions of Konvertible Marks to Karadzic's support network, among others.

"We have information that EUFOR apprehended Mirko Sarovic this morning in Lukavica," Bosnian Serb police spokesman Radovan Pejic told The Associated Press. (Lukavica is a mostly Bosnian Serb residential area of Sarajevo). Pejic added that another Bosnian Serb, identified as Milorad Govedarica, also was detained by EUFOR.

In September an international auditor, Toby Robinson said that millions of Bosnian marks had been embezzled from a bank accused of funneling money to wanted war crimes suspects, and that top officials from the ruling Bosnian Serb party connected to the bank could face charges.

Robinson at the time said evidence implicating several party leaders, including former Bosnian President Mirko Sarovic and Dragan Kalinic, former speaker of the Bosnian Serb Parliament, was turned over to the prosecutor.

In February Bosnia's top international administrator, British diplomat Paddy Ashdown, accused Sarovic of supporting Radovan Karadzic, an indicted war criminal who has been in hiding since the civil war ended 10 years ago.

Sarovic was among the 10 Bosnian Serbs whose assets were frozen in February. Ashdown also ordered that Sarovic be stripped of his post as vice president of the Serb Democratic Party that Karadzic founded in the early 1990s.

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