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Serbian Ultranationalists Counter State's Reward For Mladic

One of the posters put up by the Serbian ultranationalist group "1389" honouring war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic.

One of the posters put up by the Serbian ultranationalist group "1389" honouring war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic.

BELGRADE -- A Serbian ultranationalist group has responded to the government's increased reward for information leading to the capture of war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic by offering to pay for information about anyone who betrays Mladic, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

Mladic, the commander of Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian War, was indicted in 1995 by the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

He is accused of masterminding the three-year siege of Sarajevo, which claimed some 10,000 lives, and of orchestrating the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys near the town of Srebrenica.

The Serbian government last week announced it would pay a 10 million euro ($13.9 million) reward, up from the one million euros it offered in October 2007 for information that leads to Mladic's capture.

Nasi 1389, a group that styles itself as defenders of the Serbian nation and spirit, said this week it would offer 10,000 euros for information about anyone who responded to the government's appeal for information about Mladic.

It has posted notices in Belgrade that state: "10,000 euros for catching traitors."

Nasi 1389 is named after an epic, 14th-century battle in which Ottoman forces defeated the Serbian army and consolidated Ottoman hegemony over the Balkans for five centuries.

Nasi 1389 leader Igor Marinkovic told RFE/RL, "God forbid that Mladic will be arrested, but if we found out who betrayed him, we would find the money to pay for this information."

There has thus far been no official reaction to Nasi 1389's offer.

Milan Antonijevic, a lawyer with the YUCOM network of human rights activists, said the state should have reacted immediately.

"They are creating a parallel system [in Serbia] in which you will be able to exercise your own justice," Antonijevic told RFE/RL.