Ðorđević arrested in Montenegro 17 Jun 2007
The former Assistant Minister of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior and ICTY fugitive, Vlastimir Đorđević, has been arrested in Montenegro.

Vlastimir DordevicOn Sunday, 17 June 2007, former Assistant Minister of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior (MUP) and fugitive of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Vlastimir Đorđević, was arrested in the coastal town of Budva, Montenegro. Đorđević, who was Chief of the Public Security Department of the MUP and a close aide to Slobodan Milošević, was responsible for all units and personnel in Serbia, including Kosovo, between 1 January and 20 June 1999.

Vlastimir Đorđević has been charged with directing, encouraging or supporting Serbian forces who perpetrated crimes which resulted in the forcible transfer and deportation of approximately 800,000 Kosovo Albanian civilians. In the 6 July 2006 indictment, Đorđević is charged with deportation, murder and persecution as crimes against humanity and murder as a violation of the laws and customs of war. At the direction, or with the encouragement or support of the accused, Serbian forces murdered hundreds of Kosovo Albanian civilians and others not taking an active role in the hostilities. It is further alleged that the forces systematically damaged and destroyed cultural monuments and Muslim sacred sites; shelling, burning and destroying mosques throughout the province.

Legal background

Đorđević had initially been indicted with Nebojša Pavković, Vladimir Lazarević and Sreten Lukić. This “Pavković  et al” case was later joined with the Milutinović et al case and the amended indictment was filed on 8 August 2005. On 26 June 2006, the ICTY Trial Chamber granted a request made by the Prosecution to sever the indictment of Vlastimir Đorđević so that the trial against the other accused could commence as scheduled. The Milutinović et al case is presently before Trial Chamber III at the ICTY.

The Đorđević indictment alleges that the accused participated in a joint criminal enterprise commencing in October 1998. The indictment charges Đorđević on the basis of individual criminal responsibility and on the basis of superior criminal responsibility. 

Capture

Đorđević was arrested in cooperation with the ICTY Prosecution, Montenegrin and Serbian authorities. Rasim Ljajić, the chairman of Serbia's National Hague Cooperation Council affirmed the joint nature of the action and stated that Đorđević “is on his way to The Hague”. A spokesperson for the ICTY confirmed that Đorđević had been detained and was due to be handed over imminently.

Đorđević's arrest follows the capture of former Bosnian Serb general, Zdravko Tolimir, on 31 May 2007. The arrest means that there are now only four ICTY fugitives: Ratko Mladić, Radovan Karadžić, Goran Hadžić and Stojan Župljanin.

Press release

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