Trial of Radovan Karadžić

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The Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić is a case before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands, concerning crimes allegedly committed during the Bosnian War by Radovan Karadžić, the former President of Republika Srpska.

Dabić alias[edit]

Karadžić had been hiding disguised under the alias Dr. Dragan David Dabić (Драган Давид Дабић) offering his services as a doctor of alternative medicine under the company name of "Human Quantum Energy".[1]

He had lived in Jurija Gagarina Street 267 (Blok 45), in New Belgrade for 18 months (he had been in Belgrade for 3 years as "Dabić",[2]) had a mane of long white hair and a long beard, and used glasses. Using a false ID, and going by the false name Dragan Dabić, he had been practicing at a private medical clinic, specializing in alternative medicine[3] and claiming to be a neuro-psychiatrist.[4]

He was able to walk around freely and appear in public without being identified, he spent his days at the local kafana "Luda kuća" drinking slivovitz, singing folk poetry, and playing Gusle (in front of the pictures of Karadžić and Mladic on the walls of the cafe).[5] The website of Dabić's company at www.psy-help-energy.com was maintained by Zoran Pavlović of Pavlović Consulting, Belgrade. When interviewed by Belgrade's Blic newspaper, Pavlović stated that he had frequently met with Dabić, discussing alternative medicine, sports and sometimes politics, without the least suspicion of his true identity. He described Dabić as a friendly and eloquent individual towards whom he had felt sympathetic.[6]

Dabić had published several articles in the Zdrav život ("Healthy Life") journal of alternative medicine since October 2007.[7] Introduced as a "spiritual explorer", he also gave lectures comparing meditation techniques practiced by Orthodox monks. On 23 May 2008, Dabić gave a talk at the "Third Festival of Healthy Life" (Treći Festival zdravog života) on the topic of "how to cherish one's own energies" (Kako negovati sopstvene energije).[8]

The editor of Zdrav život, Goran Kojic, confirmed that Dabić appeared as a highly cultured and sympathetic man, speaking Serbian free of any Bosnian accent.[9]

Serbia's Minister of Health Tomica Milosavljević stated that there was no registration for a Dragan or David Dabić as a licenced physician.[10] The arrest came just two days before the ICTY's chief prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, was due to visit Serbia.[11]

Capture evasion in Austria[edit]

Karadžić evaded capture in May 2007 in Vienna, Austria, where he lived under another alias, Petar Glumac, posing as a Croatian distributor of herbal solutions and ointments. The Austrian police talked to him during a raid regarding an unrelated homicide case in the area where Karadžić lived, but failed to recognize his real identity. He had a Croatian passport under the name Petar Glumac, and claimed to be in Vienna for training. Police did not ask any further questions nor demand to fingerprint him as he appeared calm and readily answered questions.[12] His nephew Dragan Karadžić has claimed in an interview to the Corriere della Sera that Radovan Karadžić had attended football matches of Serie A, and visited Venice under the false identity of Petar Glumac.[13]

Arrest and extradition[edit]

Karadžić's arrest occurred on 21 July 2008 in Belgrade.[14] However, UK's Channel 4 News reported that Karadžić's lawyer, Sveta Vujacić, stated "I'm 100 % sure that ... Radovan Karadžić was arrested on 18 July at half past nine (in the evening) ..."[15][16] These claims were refuted by the president of the National Council for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal Rasim Ljajić.[17]

Milan Dilparić, an investigative judge at Serbia's special war crimes tribunal, terminated the investigation and ruled: "all conditions have been met for his transfer to the Hague to face trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The decision could be appealed within 72 hours to the appeals board, and its decision is final. Karadžić was examined by a doctor, and would remain in a special detention unit of Serbia's war crimes court pending transfer to the UN tribunal. The "Daily Telegraph" reported that the former general of the Bosnian Serb army Ratko Mladic gave away the whereabouts of Karadžić in order to avoid prosecution from the Hague. It also reported that Mladic, with the help of his people, was talking about giving himself up.[18]

A statement issued by the office of President Boris Tadić said: "Radovan Karadžić was located and arrested tonight [and] was brought to the investigative judge of the War Crimes Court in Belgrade, in accordance with the law on cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia." Serbian security forces were credited with having located and captured Karadžić, without any further details being given of the circumstances. Sources in the Serbian government told Reuters news agency he had been under surveillance for several weeks, following a tip-off from a foreign intelligence service.[19] The arrest has been confirmed by the ICTY.[20]

Karadžić was transferred to The Hague into ICTY custody on 30 July. He was detained in a jail cell Wednesday that Slobodan Milošević used. The jail is in a separate wing of a Dutch prison near the seaside resort of Scheveningen. Until acquittal or conviction, he will remain in the center, which has 84 cells, and locked up with 37 other detainees from the 1990 Balkan wars. Each cell (5.1 meters by 3 meters - 17 by 10 feet) has a shower, toilet, wash basin, and desk. Inmates enjoy computers (without Internet access), television channels, and have arts, languages, or sciences courses. Gym, outdoor courtyard, library, recreation room for darts, table tennis and board games are shared. After conviction, however, they would serve sentences in countries that volunteered to imprison them.[21] Karadzic will appear before Judge Alphons Orie Thursday, in the tribunal, which has sentenced 56 accused since 1993.[22]

Reactions to the arrest[edit]

Europe[edit]

  •  Austria - Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said that "The arrest of Karadzic is an important moment in our persistent fight against impunity. Impunity has no place in the new Europe".[23]
  •  Belgium - Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said "I'm very pleased because I think this is a great day for international criminal justice, and also for the victims, who have had to wait for more than 10 years before justice is done".[24]
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Miroslav Lajčák, the High Representative of the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina said "It is definitely good news for Bosnia and Herzegovina and this was visible from the reaction of ordinary citizens. Here in Sarajevo, people were happily celebrating. It is great news and a great satisfaction for them and it really proved that justice can be served and no one is above the law".[25]
    • President Haris Silajdžić states that "this will have a positive effect on Bosnia. We need this catharsis, we need people to know there is justice".[26]
    • Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik said that "We welcome the arrest of Radovan Karadžić. It is important that he faces justice so that the stigma is lifted from the Serbs who have been hostages of his responsibility".[26]
    • Mladen Bosić, president of the Serbian Democratic Party founded by Karadžić, visited the former leader in prison, and he had this to say afterwards: "I can tell you that I was surprised in how good shape and condition is Doctor Karadzic, he is mentally perfectly well, and actually he's spreading positive energy around him".[27] He stated that "the Hague tribunal is not a place where justice is being served".[28]
    • On the night of Karadžić’s arrest, many people went on the streets of Sarajevo carrying the 1992–98 Bosnian flags, with fleur-de-lys-shield to celebrate the arrest of the first president of Republika Srpska.[29]
  •  Bulgaria - Foreign Ministry Spokesman Dimiter Tsochev said in a statement that "the arrest of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as a clear signal for the new Serbian government's resolve for efficient cooperation with the international community. For Bulgaria, this is an important step towards the security in the region bringing neighboring Serbia closer to the European Union. The Balkans took a breath after an 11-year nightmare, and Serbia and Bosnia are revived for a new European life".[30]
  •  Croatia - Milorad Pupovac, representative of the Serb national minority in Croatia, said that the arrest of Radovan Karadžić after a 13-year search, marks a victory for justice and the punishment of those who committed crimes through such policy and action used by Radovan Karadžić. "This is a matter of fulfilment of justice, of peace making and of opening space to a new polity, including Europe’s policy, but also a new policy among the peoples in Bosnia and the people in the area of Yugoslavia", said Pupovac. He then wanted to congratulate Serbian President Tadić and his collaborators over Karadžić’s capture.[31]
  •  Czech Republic - Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra stated that "A criminal is finally where he belongs, he is arrested... I think this is considerably pushing the Serbian perspectives towards the European Union".[32]
  •  Denmark - Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller stated that Serbia's new government is showing its willingness to cooperate with the international community by arresting Radovan Karadžić and called the arrest "very good news".[33]
  •  Finland - Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb said that "The arrest of Radovan Karadžić is a positive sign of the new Serbian government's ability to co-operate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia".[34]
  •  France
    • President Nicolas Sarkozy said that "The long awaited arrest, shows a clear willingness of the new government in Belgrade to bring Serbia to the European Union, contributing to peace and stability of the Balkan".[35]
    • Jean-Maurice Ripert, Ambassador to the UN, told reporters that the arrest of Karadžić on genocide charges was "very positive for both the doctrine and generalization of the fight against impunity through international criminal tribunals. We admire the courage and determination of the Serbian government".[36]
  •  Germany
    • Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the arrest of Karadžić, calling it "good news for the entire Balkans. This is a historic moment".[37]
    • Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier made the following statement on the arrest: "The Federal Government is pleased and relieved that, after many years, Radovan Karadzic has now at last been arrested. This arrest is a milestone in relations between Serbia and the European Union".[38]
  •  Greece
    • Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis (of the New Democracy party) said that "This, in our view, is particularly positive. Greece, as you know, supports this course of Serbia with all its strength".[39]
    • George Papaconstantinou (party spokesman of the Pasok party) said that, "The arrest of Karadzic constitutes an important step in Serbia's course towards the European Union and is a message of the will of Serbia's new government to advance in its European course". Although the PASOK government was at the time responsible for aiding the Serbs, and in particular the government of Milosevic, the spokesman referred to the "contribution" of PASOK and, especially George Papandreou, with "the formation of this new [pro-Western] government of Serbia and for this country to turn a page".[40]
    • The Laos party issued an official press release which stated: "The arrest [...] of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [...] shows everyone the methods that the New [World] Order uses in order to bend the resistance of nations, peoples, and personalities that do not submit".[41]
    • Golden Dawn denounced Karadzic's arrest and, in particular, the Democratic Party-Socialist Party of Serbia coalition: "The party founded by Milosevic himself, who was murdered by the international court of the Hague, refused to cooperate with the Nationalists and supported Tadic's so-called pro-European government. The first remarkable action of this coalition was the arrest of the Serbian national leader Karadzic by the [vultures] of globalization". Golden Dawn further states that, "It is certain that Karadzic will stand tall and proud against global tyranny [...]".[42]
  •  Ireland - Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin T.D. said "I welcome the arrest last night of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić, who was indicted in July 1995 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. His apprehension after 13 years as a fugitive from international justice makes clear that there can be no ultimate impunity for those who stand accused of heinous crimes. I congratulate President Tadic and the Serbian security forces on the success of this operation. For the peoples of Bosnia and Serbia, the arrest of Karadžić marks an important step in their struggle to deal with the terrible legacy of the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. It also underlines the commitment of the Government and people of Serbia to draw a line under the tragic past and move toward a secure and stable future in Europe. I urge the Government of Serbia to build on this success and continue its efforts to finalise full cooperation with ICTY, which remains an essential condition for fulfilment of the country's European perspective".[43]
  •  Italy
    • President Giorgio Napolitano sent a message to Boris Tadić in which he congratulated him for "an undertaking by the new government in Belgrade to contribute to peace and stability in the Balkans and in particular to cooperate with the International Criminal Court. I believe that the path taken represents a further rapprochement of Serbia to the European Union and I hope that Serbia can achieve in this sense the awards desired".[44]
    • Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that "It's a great result that demonstrates how the process of bringing Serbia closer to EU accession must continue at pace." Frattini said Karadžić's arrest meant "the entire international community can breathe a sigh of relief" and that Italy would "do its part" to work towards the "immediate" ratification of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Serbia and the European Union "I think the next step will be to consider Serbia for entrance into the EU".[45]
  •  Macedonia - Government spokesman Ivica Bocevski has said that "This shows that the time has come to leave the tragic Balkan decade of the 1990s to the historians. The countries from the region should focus towards the common European future for the Balkans as a whole".[46]
  •  Montenegro - Prime Minister Milo Đukanović said "This is very good. I believe that a real significant step towards the final finalization of the previous chapter of wars in the former Yugoslavia is made in this way by determining the responsibility for allegedly committed war crimes".[47]
  •  Netherlands - Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said that "The Netherlands is ‘extremely satisfied’ that Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadžić has been arrested".[48]
  •  Norway - Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre commented "I am pleased that Radovan Karadzic has now been arrested. I expect the Serbian authorities to extradite him to The Hague so that he can be called to account for the acts for which he has been indicted. His arrest is important for the victims of the crimes, and it will contribute to healing the wounds from the war in the Balkans. The arrest of Karadzic helps to remove a significant obstacle on Serbia’s path to full participation in European cooperation, and it represents a major step towards normalising Serbia’s relations with the international community. In my dealings with Serbia’s President and Minister of Foreign Affairs I have always stressed the importance of cooperating with the ICTY. I have taken this matter up with Serbia’s President and Minister of Foreign Affairs on a number of occasions, and it has always been quite clear that they have shared this view".[49]
  •  Poland - Foreign Ministry communiqué read by the Press Spokesman Piotr Paszkowski said that "Karadžić’s arrest shall pave the way for a stabilisation in the Western Balkans and constitutes a step forward in the process of uniting the nations of the former Yugoslavia. The readiness of the new Serbian authorities to ensure full cooperation with the Tribunal also testifies to this, which should have a positive influence on bringing forward Serbia’s European prospects".[50]
  •  Portugal - Foreign Minister Luís Amado said that the arrest of Karadžić "shows the commitment of the new government in Serbia towards the European Union".[51]
  •  Romania - Foreign minister, Lazăr Comănescu said that "The arrest of Radovan Karadžić is a strong argument which demonstrates the availability of Serbia to cooperate with the International Tribunal in The Hague".[52]
  •  Russia
    • Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that "Serbia’s authorities fulfilled their obligations to the tribunal. The main thing is that the process should proceed objectively and those elements of politicisation that had been demonstrated in the tribunal’s previous activities should not be shown".[53]
    • Andrei Nesterenko, Russian foreign ministry official, states that "The arrest of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, indicted by the ICTY, is exclusively an internal matter of Serbia. It was carried out by way of Belgrade’s implementation of its obligations to the Tribunal. We hope that the investigation and trial in the case of Radovan Karadzic will bear an impartial character. We pay special attention to this point, since the ICTY has demonstrated an often biased approach. Well known are the cases of acquittal and release of a number of Bosniaks and Kosovo Albanians, Ramus Haradinai most notably, whose involvement in war crimes is beyond doubt. We also reiterate the need to speed up moves to wrap up the activities of the ICTY and hand over all unsolved cases to the investigative and judicial bodies of countries of the former Yugoslavia, now fully mature and capable of independently sorting things out and rendering a verdict on war crimes".[54]
    • Russia's permanent representative in NATO Dmitry Rogozin has said that "If the Karadžić case deserves to be considered in the Hague, then those people who took the decision to bomb innocent civilians, who were dying by the hundred during the 'democratization' of the Balkans by the West, should be sitting in the dock next to him".[55]
    • Speaker of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs A. Nesterenko after the verdict, by which the Bosnian Muslim leader Naser Orić has been acquitted,[56] "it is necessary to launch a procedure which would fulfill the strategy of closing the Hague Tribunal and the rendering of all unfinished cases to the judicial authorities of the countries of Former Yugoslavia which are nowadays completely mature".[57] The Russian side is accusing the Tribunal of lacking in impartiality.[58]
    • Oleg Morozov, member of the Russian State Duma, has said that Radovan Karadžić could share the destiny of Milošević in the tribunal, who had perished in obscure circumstances.[59]
    • First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the Union of Communist Parties - Communist Party of the Soviet Union Gennady Zyuganov, stated the "Russian Communist Party categorically condemns the actions taken by the Serb authorities, which, giving in to the blackmail of the West, intend to extradite Karadžić to the biased court in The Hague. A number of Western countries "have used all forms of political, economic and media pressure on the Serb authorities on this matter [and] the pro-Western government of Serbia has taken this unseemly step. The possible extradition of Karadžić to the ICTY (the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) is a desecration of the idea of international justice. Hague tribunal has turned into a punitive body, which is carrying out reprisal against the Serbs. This is confirmed by the death of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic in a ICTY prison, and also the deaths of two other Serb leaders, who died in ICTY prisons or during arrests. The same is indicated by the years-long imprisonment of Vojislav Sheshel in an ICTY prison. Karadžić's arrest is especially outrageous with the background of the rulings issued in the cases involving Croatian and Albanian criminals responsible for the gruesome killings of civilians, ethnic cleansing, and the destruction of Yugoslavia, who have been cleared by the ICTY. This leads us to believe that Karadžić's arrest is aimed at creating a pretext for the resumption of the operation of this illegitimate body, which costs up a quarter of a billion dollars each year to maintain".[60]
    • The previous Serbian ambassador to the Russian Federation Borislav Milošević, the former president's brother, who is now being treated in hospital, described Karadžić as a national hero for the majority of the Serbian people and reprehended the Hague Tribunal as an "anti-Serbian institution, accomplishing diverse purposes. Its pressure does not cease. And this Tribunal has to be finally closed. It is hitherto a lever for influence over Belgrade, and in particular over our people".[61]
  •  Serbia
    • Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković has called on the remaining Hague fugitives to surrender voluntarily.[62]
    • President Boris Tadić said that the locating and arresting of the Hague indictee was a result of commitment of the new authorities' observing international law, laws of Serbia and the fact that the individual responsibility for crimes committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia had to be determined. The president's press service said the Tribunal "must hold impartial trials of war crimes indictees regardless of their names, family names, nationality or religious affiliation".[63]
    • On 22 July, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić said the arrest was proof that Serbia is "serious when it comes to her European fate".[64]
    • Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac stated "With the arrest of Karadžić, we have jumped over a big hurdle on the pathway toward European integrations. No-one can doubt any more that the government will uncompromisingly resolve the inherited problems".[64]
    • National Assembly Speaker Slavica Đukić Dejanović commented that the procedure was "difficult", but that "international and domestic law must be respected".[64]
    • The general secretary of the opposition Radical Party Aleksandar Vučić declared the arrest "horrendous news for Serbia"[65] and that "Karadzic is a Serbian hero. There will be a strong backlash".[28] The deputy chairman of the Radical Party Tomislav Nikolić has called the day of the arrest "an onerous day" for Serbia and has promised the use of all democratic means in order to "purge" the power in Serbia till the end of this year. He is predicting a severe divine castigation for the instigators of Karadžić' confinement.[66] Moreover, according to Nikolić, "Karadžić had sacrificed himself for the people in Republika Srpska, but he had fallen victim to Serbia and the regime of Boris Tadić".[67] The Radical Party has announced a mass demonstration in support of Karadžić which took place on 29 July. About ten thousand people appeared, mostly football fans and protests ended early followed with violent attacks on police and shop looting.[68]
    • Vojislav Koštunica, the former Prime Minister and current leader of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), said: "The DSS has warned on two occasions recently that because of the acquittals of Haradinaj and Orić, Serbia needs to open the issue of whether the Tribunal has the legitimacy to justly try war crimes suspects".[69] The DSS will participate in a Radical Party-led demonstration in support of Karadžić scheduled for 29 July.[68]
    • Leader of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, István Pásztor welcomed the arrest by saying "This is a big step for Serbia in terms of its obligations to The Hague war crimes tribunal".[70]
    • Liberal Democratic Party welcomed the arrest in a statement saying that it is "the only way to discover the full truth and face the crimes committed in the name of the citizens of Serbia".[64]
  •  Slovakia
    • Prime Minister Robert Fico said "It is very good that investigations into all war crimes are taking place. Everybody who is responsible for brutal treatment and murder will be prosecuted and eventually convicted. I think we need to see whether someone was responsible for the deaths of so many civilians in Serbia during the bombing. That’s my view".[71]
    • Foreign Affairs Ministry welcomed the arrest and praised "this success of the Serbian authorities, viewing it as proof that the new Serbian Government is intensively and without compromise seeking to meet the goals required for speeding up its European integration process. Slovakia will continue to support Serbia on its way to the European Union" said the ministry.[72]
  •  Slovenia - Prime Minister Janez Janša released a statement saying "The long expected arrest, which needs to be followed by a just trial in the Hague, is an important step towards closing the final chapter of the tragic recent history of the Western Balkans".[73]
  •  Spain - Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos described the news on the arrest as "very good" because it returned the "feeling" that Serbia "has commitments with the principles and values of the European Union" and demonstrated the "courage of its authorities".[74]
  •  Sweden - Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said "the arrest of Karadžić was a major, if long overdue victory for international justice. This is late, late, late, but good, good, good".[75]
  •  Turkey - Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying "the trial of Karadžić will ease the pains which occurred in the Former Yugoslavia and which were one of the most terrible incidents of the 20th century. This trial will also demonstrate that the perpetrators of such tragedies can not escape from the justice. This historical step that the newly established Serbian Government has taken is a milestone in the integration of Serbia with the European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. This step proves that the new Serbian Government is in genuine cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. It will also consolidate the stability in the Balkans and develop further the friendly relations among the countries and the peoples of the region. Turkey hopes that the remaining war criminals, Ratko Mladic in the first place, will be brought to the Justice and this will contribute to healing of the wounds".[76]
  •  United Kingdom - Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that "Today is the day to congratulate the Serbian government, a day to say 'Well done' and to look forward to the next steps of co-operation with the Tribunal in the Hague".[77]

North America[edit]

  •  Canada - Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Emerson, welcomed the arrest by saying "The Government of Serbia is to be congratulated for this arrest".[78]
  •  United States
    • Statement from the White House, signed by Press Secretary Dana Perino said that "This operation is an important indicator of the Serbian authorities’ determination to keep their promise on cooperation with the Hague Tribunal".[79]
    • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has praised the arrest of Karadžić and said she hopes his former military chief Ratko Mladić is captured next.[80]

Asia[edit]

  •  Iran - Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said that the "Arrest of the war criminal, whose hands are stained with blood of thousands of innocent people, after 12 years marks a historic and unforgettable moment as well as an important event which will satisfy majority of the Bosnian people and other world nations, especially Muslims, who have over the past 12 years been looking forward to his trial".[81]

Oceania[edit]

  •  Australia - Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said "I certainly welcome the arrest. More particularly, I welcome the fact that the Serbian authorities have immediately handed him over to the war crimes process".[82]

International organizations[edit]

  •  European Union
    • European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said that "This is a very positive development that will contribute to bringing justice and lasting reconciliation in the Western Balkans. It proves the determination of the new Serbian government to achieve full cooperation with the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia). It is also very important for Serbia's European aspirations".[26]
    • Foreign policy chief Javier Solana said "Karadžić's arrest would now help unblock a key EU-Serbia accord. We have to talk to the prosecutor of the international tribunal, but I am almost certain he is going to say there is full cooperation".[83][84]
    • European Commissioner Olli Rehn said that the arrest was a "milestone" in Serbia’s cooperation with the Tribunal, and showed that Serbia was "very serious" when it came to cooperation.[85]
  •  United Nations - Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it as "a historic moment for the victims who have waited 13 years, a decisive step toward ending impunity for those indicted for war crimes".[28]
  •  OIC - OIC Secretary General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said in statement "The arrest of Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadžić is an achievement to the Serbian authorities' credit".[86]
  •  NATO - NATO Secretary General stated "I welcome the news of Radovan Karadzic’s detention in Belgrade. I commend the Serbian authorities for this important act of cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia".[87]
  • ICTY - Serge Brammertz, head prosecutor for the ICTY, stated that "This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest for over a decade. It is also an important day for international justice because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law and that sooner or later all fugitives will be brought to justice."[28]

The case before ICTY[edit]

Karadžić is facing charges on 11 counts for genocide, crimes against humanity and severe breaches of the Geneva Convention for his role in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, especially for the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995.[88]

Consolidating two 1995 indictments into one single document, the current indictment against Karadžić (IT-95-5/18) was confirmed on 31 May 2000. Specifically, it includes one count of a grave breach of the Geneva conventions of 1949, three counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, two counts of genocide and five counts of crimes against humanity.[89]

Karadžić announced he will represent himself during the trial.[90] If convicted, his sentence could be the longest pronounced by the court, exceeding 40 years, which in practice amounts to a life sentence. Karadžić is expected to be tried before a three-judge panel in an open court with a tape-delayed feed; proceedings will be in English with Serbian translation.[91] Judge Alphons Orie (Netherlands) was designated to hold a first interview with Karadžić on 31 July, with the purpose of establishing whether he understands the charges leveled against him. Orie will also present a first opportunity to Karadžić to plead "guilty" or "not guilty" to each of the 11 counts. Karadžić will be free to delay his plea for 30 days, after which, "not guilty" will automatically be entered on his behalf in the absence of a "guilty" plea.

He claimed there is a conspiracy against him and refused to enter a plea, therefore the court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf[92] to all 11 charges. He dismissed the tribunal chaired by Scottish judge Iain Bonomy, as a “court of NATO” disguised as a court of the international community. Karadzic insists on defending himself (as he is entitled to under the United Nations court's rules) while at the same time is setting up a team of advisers led by his Legal Advisor Peter Robinson of the United States. Judge Bonomy urged Karadžić to hire an attorney and set 20 January as a tentative date for a new status conference.[93]

On 3 September 2010, judges warned that Karadžić's trial could take two years longer than expected and stretch into 2014 if prosecutors and Karadžić do not speed up the case.[94]

Alleged Karadžić-Holbrooke deal[edit]

On 31 July 2008, a summary of the charges were read out in court. Karadžić delayed his plea until 29 August 2008, due to the fact that an amended indictment is being prepared. Karadžić said he will enter his plea to the charges on 29 August. During his first hearing, Karadžić stated that Madeleine Albright, along with Richard Holbrooke, offered him a deal which would allow him not to get prosecuted for war crimes if he would disappear from public life and politics. According to Karadžić, Albright offered him to get out of the way and go to Russia, Greece, or Serbia and open a private clinic or to at least go to Bijeljina in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina.[95] He also said that Holbrooke or Albright would like to see him disappear and expressed the fear for his life by saying "I do not know how long the arm of Mr Holbrooke or Mrs Albright is...or whether that arm can reach me here".[96] Richard Holbrooke refuted such claims,[97] calling them lies in a Spiegel interview shortly after Karadzic's arrest,[98] but Muhamed Sacirbey, Bosnian foreign minister at the time, said that a Karadžić-Holbrooke deal that was made in July 1996 was indeed in existence,[99] and former Bosnian Serb foreign minister Aleksa Buha claimed that he witnessed the agreement which was made during the night between 18 and 19 July 1996.[100] Claims of such a deal were also investigated by journalists before the capture and trial of Karadžić.[101]

After the allegations were broadcast internationally, the Serbian newspaper Blic claimed that Karadžić was under U.S. protection in exchange for him keeping a low profile and not participating in politics, quoting a "U.S. intelligence source" as saying that the protection ended in 2000 when the CIA intercepted a phone call of Karadžić in which it became apparent that Karadžić chaired a meeting of his old political party.[100] Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported on 6 August 2008, that according to a Serbian newspaper, a former court official wrote a book claiming that the United States and other Western states had a deal with Karadžić, protected him from arrest, and a U.S. diplomat told Karadzic that he could hide in a NATO base.[102]

Motion to disqualify[edit]

In a 15 August 2008 letter to Fausto Pocar, president of The Hague tribunal, Karadžić moved to disqualify and replace presiding Dutch judge Alphons Orie, on the ground of "personal" interest and bias to convict him in order to reinforce and justify "draconian" sentences in his earlier ICTY cases against former Bosnian Serbs leaders: "There clearly cannot be any question of impartiality on his [Judge Orie's] part. He would now be keen on having that ruling "upheld and somehow validated, which could be achieved through, inter alia, partial and biased conduct of the case against me". Karadžić also asked the other judges of Orie's chamber replaced.[103][104] Preliminary investigations of tribunal cases are conducted by a judge, but trials are heard by a panel of three. The tribunal has no juries.[105]

The Hague tribunal president, Fausto Pocar, replaced the whole judge panel on 21 August 2008. The new presiding judge will be Patrick Lipton Robinson.[106]

Wiretaps[edit]

In 2009, the prosecution presented recorded calls and transcripts of Karadžić's political speeches. In one Karadžić is quoted as saying "Sarajevo will be a black cauldron where Muslims will die," and that "They will disappear, that people will disappear from the face of the earth." In another Karadžić is quoted as saying that "Europe will be told to go fuck itself and not come back till the job is finished."[107]

Hearings[edit]

The prosecution started its case on 13 April 2010, and completed it on 25 May 2012.[108] The discovery of more than 300 previously unknown bodies in a mass grave at the Tomašica mine near Prijedo in September 2013 caused a flurry of motions which ended with the court denying reopening prosecutorial evidence.[109] The defence began its case on 16 October 2012[110] and completed it in March 2014; Karadžić decided not to testify.[111]

Tourist attraction tour[edit]

After Karadžić's arrest, the venues associated with his underground period as an anonymous physician are being transformed into a place for tourist activities - there is already a special itinerary for tourists from his former quarter where he had been dwelling for years via the shop where he had been purchasing bread and coffee and taking a lunch to the edifice of the court, from where he has been delivered to the Hague Tribunal. The itinerary is increasingly popular not only for the local inhabitants but for foreign tourists as well.[112]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

ICTY
Dragan Dabic