For International Justice
Despite protestations that he is "too ill to travel" (sickeningly ironic coming from a man who arranged for thousands of young, old and ill refugees to be forcefully marched to their execution sites) Mladic will inevitably be transported to the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at some point in the coming days.
The Tribunal has already yielded significant results: all those idicted, with the exception of Croation-Serb politician Goran Hadzic, have now been detained, sixty-four have been sentenced and another thirty-three are at some stage of trial. A successful conviction of Mladic will raise the standard higher still, demonstrating that even the most senior, well protected and elusive war criminals can be brought to justice.
Along with Randovan Karadzic, who was arrested in 2008, and Slobodan Milosevic, who died before his trial was completed, Mladic is the most high-profile and culpable suspect who will appear in the ICTY courtroom. Should the prosecutors manage to put him behind bars for the rest of his life (as appears likely considering the overwhelming evidence of his atrocities) the success of the Tribunal will be beyond doubt, marking a key milestone in the incredible recent development of international justice -on a par with the founding of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the ongoing trial of Charles Taylor at the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Failure to detain Mladic long presented Serbia's greatest obstacle to EU accession, to closer relations with neighbours and to breaking with the past. His arrest and imminent deportation will now open new doors, bring new opportunities and allow the country to truly move on from this darkest period of its history.