PARIS — Bosnian Serb authorities have expelled a famed Nazi hunter from their self-proclaimed capital of Pale after he tried to persuade their leaders to surrender to an international war crimes tribunal.
"They obviously got my message, which was too strong for them," said French lawyer Serge Klarsfeld, who had gone to Pale to convince Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and army commander Gen. Ratko Mladic to surrender to the U.N. war crimes tribunal.
Klarsfeld, 60, was interrogated for three hours by Bosnian Serb police before being forced to return to areas held by the Bosnian Muslim and Croat confederation, his son Arno said in an interview.
"Three police and an interpreter went to his hotel in the evening and took him to the police station," Arno Klarsfeld said. He said his father was "forced to accept a ride" back to Sarajevo on Saturday morning by two men who he believed were security agents.
The war crimes tribunal in The Hague has indicted both Karadzic and Mladic on charges of crimes against humanity for ordering the ethnic-cleansing campaigns of mass killings, torture and expulsions of Muslims during the nearly four-year Bosnian war.
Serge Klarsfeld brought a letter for the two Bosnian Serb leaders that he gave last Friday to the Pale press center run by Karadzic's daughter, Sonja.
"If they consider themselves innocent," he wrote, then facing the war crimes tribunal will be the best way to publicly establish this innocence. "If they consider themselves guilty — which appears obvious to us because war crimes and genocide were committed by Bosnian Serb armed forces under their political and military authority — Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Mladic must take into consideration that the international community will not allow them to remain unpunished."