by hilzoy

From the NYT:

"Radovan Karadzic, one of the world’s most wanted war criminals for his part in the massacre of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995, was arrested Monday in a raid in Serbia that ended a 13-year hunt.

Serge Brammertz, the prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague, hailed the arrest as an important step in bringing to justice one of the architects of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II. He said Mr. Karadzic, 63, the Bosnian Serb president during the war there between 1992 and 1995, would be transferred to The Hague in “due course.”

“This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest for over a decade,” Mr. Brammertz said. “It is also an important day for international justice because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law and that sooner or later all fugitives will be brought to justice.” (...)

It came just weeks after a new pro-Western coalition government in Serbia was formed whose overriding goal is to bring Serbia into the European Union, the world’s biggest trading bloc. The European Union has made delivering indicted war criminals to The Hague a precondition for Serbia’s membership.

The arrest was hailed by Western diplomats as proof of Serbia’s determination to link its future to the West and put the virulent nationalism of the past behind it. The capture under the stewardship of the new government has particular resonance because the government is made up of an unlikely alliance between the Democrats of Mr. Tadic and the Socialist Party of Mr. Milosevic, which fought a war against the West in the 1990s, but has now vowed to bring Serbia back into the Western fold. (...)

The former leader is charged with genocide for the murder of close to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995. The indictment charges that Mr. Karadzic also committed genocide, persecutions and other crimes when forces under his command killed non-Serbs during and after attacks on towns throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, rounded up thousands of non-Serbs and transferred them to camps set up by the Bosnian Serb authorities.

The charges state that forces under Mr. Karadzic’s command killed, tortured, mistreated, and sexually assaulted non-Serbs in these camps.

Further, he is charged with responsibility for the shelling and sniping of civilians in Sarajevo, during the 43-month siege of the city, which led to the killing and wounding of thousands, including many women and children."

I have to assume that people like Karadzic assume that they can act with impunity; that they will never have to answer for what they did in a court of justice, or face the prospect of punishment. It matters immensely that they be proven wrong.