Karadzic transferred to Hague tribunal for war crimes trial

[JURIST] Serbian authorities Wednesday transferred [press release] Bosnian Serb leader and former fugitive Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive] to the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] to face trial on war crimes charges. Karadzic, who has been indicted [text] on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, was arrested [JURIST report] in Serbia last week after evading capture for nearly 13 years. On Monday one of his lawyers filed an appeal [JURIST report] with a Serb court to block his extradition and transfer, but said he had intentionally delayed the filing in order to postpone a decision until after Tuesday's pro-Karadzic rally [B92 report] in Belgrade. Court officials said, however, that they had not received any appeal.

ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz said [statement] Wednesday that Karadzic's arrest and transfer was "important for international justice because it clearly demonstrates that there is no alternative to the arrest of war criminals and that there can be no safe haven for fugitives". He additionally hailed the efforts of Serb officials in finally bringing Karadzic to justice:

Serbian authorities deserve full credit for the apprehension of Radovan Karadži?. This arrest is a major achievement in Serbia’s cooperation with the Tribunal. I make special mention of the National Security Council, Serbia’s Action Team in charge of tracking fugitives and the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor in Belgrade. I look forward to meeting the authorities in Belgrade in the coming weeks and hope that Serbia’s cooperation will lead to the arrest of the two remaining fugitives, Ratko Mladi? and Goran Hadži?. Without these arrests we cannot complete our mandate
Karadzic is scheduled to make his initial appearance [ICTY press release] before the ICTY on Thursday afternoon. AFP has more. B92 has local coverage.

Karadzic was originally indicted [text] by the ICTY prosecutor in 1995, but had been in hiding under an assumed identity as an alternative medicine practitioner [BBC report] until his arrest. He is accused of involvement in the Srebrenica [JURIST news archive] massacre and other war crimes against Bosnian Muslims and Croats during ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.


 

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