Kenya arrests wrong man in hunt for Mladic

MOMBASA, Kenya, (Reuters) – Kenyan police released  yesterday a tourist operator wrongly suspected of being the  fugitive Bosnian Serbian military commander Ratko Mladic.

Police on Thursday arrested the man — who had run a water  sports business for years near the Indian Ocean coast city of  Mombasa — on suspicion of war crimes in former Yugoslavia.

Colleagues at the Whitesands hotel, where he worked, were  astonished at the detention of Igor Majeski, a Croatian in his  60s who had lived in Kenya for about two decades.

When international police body Interpol said fingerprint and  other checks confirmed he was not Mladic, 67, police freed him  without charge from custody in Mombasa.

In a statement concluding the saga, Kenyan police explained  that their subject “bears very close resemblance” to Mladic.
But “forensic investigators through Interpol have  conclusively established that the person arrested is not Mr  Ratko Mladic but a Croatian national holding a valid passport  and work permit,” it said.

“He is running a legal tourism business in Kenya’s South  Coast.”

Mladic, who has been indicted for genocide, is one of two  fugitives on the run from the International Criminal Tribunal  for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague
.
The other is Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic, wanted for  crimes against humanity.

Whitesands manager Mohammed Hersi told Reuters he was  shocked when Majeski was picked up.

“He has been operating his water sports company for over 25  years. When he first came here, he had the right papers and was  given space to operate on those grounds,” he said.

Reuters TV footage, taken in January 2008 for a story on  tourism in the area, shows Majeski standing in shorts and  T-shirt outside his water sports shop on the beachfront.
He gave an interview openly from his desk.

Other workers at the hotel described him as a jovial man who  mingled easily with tourists and others.
Kenyan police have made a number of high-profile wrong  arrests in recent years, including a supposed mastermind of the  1994 Rwandan genocide.

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