March 28, 2014 / 11:45 AM / 3 years ago

Dutch police arrest Balkan war crimes suspect: prosecutors

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A man wanted in Croatia on suspicion of war crimes during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s has been arrested in the Netherlands, the public prosecutor said on Friday.

Milutin Graic, 41, is alleged to have been a member of an ethnic Serb militia that drove ethnic Croats out of the Krajina region, where ethnic Serbs set up a statelet in 1991 in an attempt to break away from newly independent Croatia.

Prosecutors said a Croatian court had issued a European arrest warrant for the man, who had been living on the run in the southern city of Roosendaal, near the Netherlands’ border with Belgium. He is likely to be extradited soon.

According to the daily De Telegraaf, the detained suspect was a member of a militia led by Milan Martic, former leader of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, who in 2007 was sentenced to 35 years in prison by an international court in The Hague for crimes against humanity including murder, torture and deportation.

Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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