Serbia issues arrest warrant for wartime Muslim commander

SARAJEVO -- The Serbian Interpol office has issued "diffuse arrest warrants" for Naser Orić and Hakija Meholjić, it has been reported.

Naser Orić (FoNet, file)
Naser Orić (FoNet, file)

The two members of Bosnian Muslim forces in the 1992-95 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina are suspected of committing war crimes against local Serbs in the Drina region in 1992.

"Interpol Belgrade has used Interpol's international channel for exchange of information to send international arrest warrants for Orić and Meholjić to all Interpol members," Bosnia's Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies told the Federation of BiH Television.

Considering the two suspects are citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the directorate said it would notify the country's Justice Ministry, which would then decide on the next steps.

The same television outlet also reported that the Interpol HQ will in the coming days decide whether to issue "red notices" for the arrest of Orić and Meholjić.

Orić, who was tried and acquitted before the Hague Tribunal on charges of war crimes committed against Serbs, recently asked for protection from extradition from the authorities in Sarajevo, and said that Serbia and the the Serb Republic (RS) would "persecute him as long as he lived."

In the meantime, Tanjug said it learned from the Police Directorate that the Interpol National Central Bureau for Serbia has issued an arrest warrant for Orić at the request of the Serbian Justice Ministry.