It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Carla del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the UN international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said she believed that Gen Ante Gotovina was being sheltered in a Franciscan monastery in his native Croatia.
The Vatican could probably pinpoint exactly which of Croatia's 80 monasteries was sheltering him "in a few days", Mrs del Ponte told The Daily Telegraph at her offices in The Hague.
Instead, she had been "extremely disappointed" to encounter a wall of silence from the Vatican. Frustrated by months of secret but fruitless appeals to leading Vatican officials, including a direct appeal to Pope Benedict XVI, Mrs del Ponte has decided to make the matter public.
Gen Gotovina, still regarded as a hero by many Croats, is the most important war crimes suspect still at large from the Yugoslav conflict, after the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander, Gen Ratko Mladic.
She said: "I have information he is hiding in a Franciscan monastery and so the Catholic Church is protecting him. I have taken this up with the Vatican and the Vatican refuses totally to co-operate with us."
General Gotovina, 49, has been a fugitive since 2001 when he was indicted on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes. America has placed a £2.8 million bounty on his head.
A former French foreign legion officer, he is accused of overseeing and permitting the killing of at least 150 Serb civilians and the forced deportation of between 150,000 and 200,000 others after Operation Storm, a 1995 offensive to reimpose Croatian control over the Krajina region. Gen Gotovina's whereabouts are of interest not only to lawyers and historians. They are at the heart of a political mystery that has divided the European Union.