Madeleine Albright

THE HAGUE — Former top US diplomat Madeleine Albright has welcomed the arrest of Bosnian Serb ex-general Ratko Mladic, saying she “enjoyed” knowing he was now behind bars, a news report said Saturday.

“It may not have been possible, but I particularly enjoy it,” Albright told the national daily De Volkskrant, speaking during a visit to The Hague.

On the run for 16 years, Mladic was arrested in Serbia last month and extradited to the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on May 31. He faced judges for the first time three days later.

“The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they do grind,” said Albright, who served as US ambassador to the United Nations during the 1992-95 Balkans conflict, which claimed some 100,000 lives.

Albright, now 74, also played a major role as a former US secretary of state from 1997-2001 in shaping US foreign policy towards a post-war Bosnia-Hercegovina.

In 2002, she testified before the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in the case against former high-ranking Bosnian Serb politician, Biljana Plavsic, later sentenced to 11 years in prison for committing crimes against humanity in the war-torn country.

This week, Albright was again in the world justice capital, where she attended the opening of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, a legal training and research institute, the paper said.

Meanhile, some four kilometres (2.5 miles) away, Mladic, 69, is being held in a UN detention unit in a Dutch prison. He is expected to make a second appearance on July 4.

The man called “the Butcher of Bosnia” faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, the same charges levelled against Radovan Karadzic, his political alter ego, whose trial is in progress.


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