Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's arrest was unexpected, but has been greeted with a predictable reaction. Bosnian Croats and Muslims, who suffered the most serious atrocities of war allegedly at his command, are rejoicing with the international community. Serb nationalists are angry that the man they still consider their hero has been taken in for charges they have always believed are spurious. Whatever the positions, the 11 counts brought by the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia cannot be ignored. People accused of such crimes must face justice to determine their guilt and, if convicted, be given an appropriate sentence as a deterrent. Karadzic has for 13 years eluded that process. His going into hiding with the protection of supporters has meant that the victims of rapes, massacres and genocide have been unable to see justice done. The election of a new, European Union-friendly government in Serbia last month has apparently allowed the arrest to take place. That political will is seemingly behind the arrest will have repercussions for Serbian President Boris Tadic. The detention of Karadzic and others still in hiding, his military leader Ratko Mladic foremost among them, has been a precondition of the EU in considering membership for Serbia - a move that would have economic benefits. But the ex-leader's detention could also have a downside, with the prospect of violence and political agitation. The arrest of people accused of atrocities cannot be a matter of politics, economics or nationalism. Karadzic, Mladic and others at large are accused of the worst types of crimes that can be committed. To allow them to be spared the process to determine such cases flies in the face of international law, human rights and decency. Karadzic must stand trial at the international war crimes court in The Hague, as did his ally, the late former president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic. He has to face his accusers and make his case. Mladic and those still sought must be similarly brought before judges. To do otherwise would deny the victims their rights and signal to others in positions of authority that they have the possibility of immunity from prosecution for the worst-imaginable crimes.