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Mladic's Detention 'Days' Away, Serbian Official Says

May 11, 2006 -- A Serbian government official today said war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic could be in detention at the Hague tribunal "in a few days."

Minister for Local Government Zoran Loncar said he was optimistic and hopeful that the wartime Bosnian Serb Army commander would be handed over soon.

Also today, the foreign minister of Serbia and Montenegro, Vuk Draskovic, said Mladic is being protected by a security network loyal to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Meanwhile, Serbia's former secret service chief, Goran Petrovic, said the authorities' search for Mladic is "a farce and a circus."

The European Union suspended pre-membership talks with Serbia over Belgrade's failure to arrest Mladic and hand him over to the UN war crimes tribunal.

(RFE/RL 15.v.06)

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