Perisic will be the sixth suspect in the past five months persuaded to turn himself in by the Serb authorities.

A government statement late on Wednesday thanked Perisic for his decision and said he would leave for The Hague on 7 March.

Belgrade is under intense pressure from the West to hand over war crimes suspects to the UN court.

If it does not, it will risk further cuts in aid and a negative "feasibility" report from the European Union on 27 March that would block its path to eventual membership.

Sentenced for bombing

 

"The Serbian government greatly appreciates the decision of General Perisic to voluntarily go to The Hague Tribunal and believes that his decision is moral and in the interest of the state"

Serbian government statement

"The Serbian government greatly appreciates the decision of General Perisic to voluntarily go to The Hague Tribunal and believes that his decision is moral and in the interest of the state," the statement read.

The indictment against the former Yugoslav army chief of staff has not been made public.

Perisic, who was sentenced in absentia to 20 years imprisonment by a Croatian court for bombing the town of Zadar in 1991, was ousted from his military post in 1998 when he openly turned against former strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

He served briefly as deputy prime minister under the late reformist prime minister Zoran Djindjic, but was later accused of spying for the US and forced to resign.