Croatia war criminal caught in Roosendaal

no image
No image availableNL Times

The internationally sought Milutin G., from Serbia, who is wanted for war crimes committed during the Balkan War in Croatia, has been apprehended in Roosendaal, where he appears to have been living for ten years. 

The 41-year old G. was arrested on Wednesday night by a special unit of the National Police in Roosendaal, at the request of Croatia, where he will be extradited to as soon as possible, according to the Public Prosecution Authority (OM).

He has been living in the suburb of Kortendijk in Roosendaal with his wife and two kids for the last ten years. A neighbor said on Friday that she has good relations with the family. "Friendly, very nice people", she told Omroep Brabant.

"They told me once that they had it difficult in the war, that there was little to eat. I could never had predicted that he was involved in war crimes."

A crime reporter from the Telegraaf, John van den Heuvel, came upon G. last year while doing research for the new RTL programme "On the run" ("Op de vlucht"). G.'s name is on a special list of wanted war criminals from Interpol.

The Serbian is being condemned by Croatia for being member of the so-called "Martic Militia", a paramilitary group that spread death and destruction during the Balkan War in the 90s.  According to Omroep Brabant, G. is also wanted for ethnic cleansing in the region of Krajina.

Leader of the Militia, Milan Martic, was sentenced to 35 years prison by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Milutin G. is suspected of having deported Croatians and stealing their homes and other possessions. The militia is also guilty of arson, as well as torturing and abusing Croatian citizens.

Milutin G. escaped the Balkan War with his family, and fled to The Netherlands. Here, he took shelter in Roosendaal, where he has been leading an average lifestyle. Van den Heuvel contacted the OM after discovering G., who was already aware of his presence in The Netherlands for some time. He could not, however, be apprehended during that time because of judicial reasons.

Last week, Croatia, who is member of the EU since last year, delivered a formal request to The Netherlands, for Milutin's arrest.

On the basis of a European arrest warrant, the National Police took action on Wednesday. The Serbian's home was surrounded, and he was followed discreetly when he exited his home.

His car was blocked at some distance outside his suburb, after which G. was overpowered by the officers. He was unarmed.

"On the run" will be on RTL 4 from the 1st of May.