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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bosnian war crimes fugitive hid in Greece - report

SARAJEVO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Fugitive Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Stojan Zupljanin hid at a Serb Orthodox monastery in Greece in 2002, leading Sarajevo daily newspaper Dnevni Avaz reported on Thursday.

The newspaper said Zupljanin, one of the six remaining fugitives sought by the U.N. war crimes court, has also been hiding in Serbia and Bosnia's Serb Republic, where police and intelligence officers helped him remain at large.

Citing information from security services, the paper published two photographs of Zupljanin it said were taken at the Hilandar monastery on Mt. Athos in northern Greece, the Serbs' most sacred religious site.

In the first photo, the senior wartime police officer sought for years by the Bosnian Serb police, is shown dressed casually at the monastery under a cross and an inscription relating to Serbia's 14th century emperor Dusan.

In the other photograph, Zupljanin is in the company of Predrag Ceranic, a former top Bosnian Serb intelligence officer.

Zupljanin was charged in 1999 for crimes against Muslims and Croats in western Bosnia early in Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

The newspaper said he was hiding in Banja Luka, where his family lives, and elsewhere in Serbia, including the northern city of Novi Sad and Mt. Fruska Gora.

The United Nations' war crimes Chief Prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, has said that he is within the reach of Serbian and Bosnian Serb authorities and Dnevni Avaz named several persons, including police and intelligence officers, as his helpers.

Del Ponte wants Belgrade to cooperate with the war crimes tribunal before Serbia can move towards joining the European Union. Pre-membership talks were suspended in May as a punishment for Serbia's failure to hand over one of the most prominent Serb war crimes fugitives, General Ratko Mladic.
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