Why did the man who said he professed to prefer the instant justice of a bullet to the humiliation of The Hague come so quietly? Why was he protected only by his elderly cousin, Branko, rather than a team of do-or-die bodyguards? And was it really the result of dogged detective work, as Serbian officials have publicly claimed, or did they know where he was all the time?Really? You don't say.
The answer, according to Western intelligence sources, is that far from being a bin Laden-style raid, Mladic's arrest was an entirely staged event, the result not of police work but of negotiations by diplomats, who spent a year hammering out a deal to get him to surrender.
The deal, which suggests Serb intelligence at least had lines of contact to Mladic's protectors, was sealed by appealing to the Serb hardman's one known soft spot - his family.It warms my heart to think that this seems as much about EU expansion as it does about catching a murdering fucknuts, but if it took the carrot of Serbian membership to get him I suppose that at least the EU can honestly claim it's done something worthwhile for once. As for Serbia, does it get a refund if the Euro goes tits up and takes the whole EU project with it, or does it get a credit note valid for exchange for one genocidal window licker in the future?
Told that they would be looked after if he gave himself up, the prospect of ensuring the safe future for his wife, Bosiljka, and son, Darko, proved key in changing his mind.
''The negotiations about his surrender lasted slightly more than a year, with mainly French, British and German officials involved,'' said a Western diplomat.
''As a result, Serbia gets her chance for EU membership, and he was just picked up by prior agreement in Lazarevo. There was no hunt operation at all.''