It was the journey Ratko Mladic imagined he would never have to make. After 16 years on the run, the former head of the Bosnian Serb army left Rotterdam Airport en route to UN custody in the Hague, where he faces trial on charges of war crimes and genocide.
Prosecutors say his trial may be coupled with that of the former political leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic, who is already in the Hague being tried on the same charges.
Mladic was taken to Belgrade Airport under heavy guard earlier in the day after his appeal against extradition was rejected.
His family turned up for a last visit – a packed suitcase providing a clue that the 69-year-old would not be going home with them.
Mladic has been taken to a UN detention unit to undergo a formal identification process.
The next step is a preliminary hearing before a UN judge.