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20 Feb, 2007 11:35

NATO troops search homes of Karadzic relatives

NATO troops search homes of Karadzic relatives

NATO troops have raided the homes of relatives of Radovan Karadzic the former Serbian politician, accused by the UN tribunal of committing genocide against Bosnian Muslims.

The raids followed repeated requests from the UN tribunal to detain Karadzic who is still at large.

Eleven years after the ethnic conflict in Bosnia, the scars of war still linger in the memory, and some of the war leaders are still at large.

“The Prosecutor has expressed her disappointment over the past week at the fact they are still at large. NATO is here in Pale tonight conducting search operations at the home of the Karadzic family, Karadzic's son Sasa and daughter Sonja's home. We are doing that due to a belief that they are intimately involved in the support network that allows Radovan Karadzic to remain at large,” says Derek Chappel, NATO spokesman.

As police entered the building, Karadzic's daughter – Sonya answered a journalist's phone call saying someone was breaking in, before hanging up abruptly.

After similar unsuccessful raids in 2005, NATO troops arrested Karadzic's son, Aleksandar releasing him 10 days later.

“We have been here before and we'll come back again, and again, as the evidence suggests they are involved in this network. This is unfinished business and it's time that it was finished. We take our commitment to this country seriously and NATO will continue to act aggressively against any supporters of the fugitive war criminals,” stressed a NATO spokesman.

Many Serbs in Bosnia regard Karadzic as a hero and are critical of NATO bombing during the war.