Former Croatian General Ante Gotovina has arrived in the Netherlands where he will be held in custody pending his long-delayed trial on war crimes charges in the Hague.
He is one of the three most wanted suspects from the Balkan wars of the 1990s,but until now has evaded capture, as have two Bosnian Serb leaders, still at large, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
Gotovina was arrested in Spain’s Canary Islands on Wednesday. He is charged with responsibility for the murders of at least 150 Serbs by troops under his command in the aftermath of the 1995 “Operation Storm”, when Croatian forces retook parts of the country from Serb rebels.
Before being flown from Getafe airport in Spain early this morning Gotovina had spent months on the run through Asia, Latin America and Europe. Spanish police tracked him down to the Playa de las Americas resort in Tenerife.
Gotovina is the last Croatian war crimes suspect to be arrested, and Croatia’s accession to EU membership is likely to speed up now he is behind bars.