July 22, 2008 in Nation/World

Accused war-crimes architect found

Karadzic allegedly responsible for massacres, siege of Sarajevo
By DUSAN STOJANOVIC Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic leaves a meeting in Geneva in 1993.
(Full-size photo)

Criminal tribunal proceedings

A look at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, established in 1993 by the U.N. Security Council.

Jurisdiction: Perpetrators of atrocities committed during the Balkan wars of the 1990s, including grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Indictments: More than 160 ethnic Serbs, Croats and Muslims indicted. Majority are Serbs.

Cases: 56 convictions, 10 acquittals, eight cases on appeal, 13 transferred to Balkan states for trial. Former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic died in 2006 before his genocide trial could be completed. There are currently 27 suspects on trial.

Top convicts: Former Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic, sentenced to 11 years; Gen. Radislav Krstic, 35 years for aiding and abetting genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia, in 1995; Goran Jelisic, who called himself the “Serb Adolf,” 40 years.

Remaining fugitives: Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity for atrocities including Srebrenica massacre, and Goran Hadzic, a former leader of rebel Croatian Serbs.

BELGRADE, Serbia – Former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic, accused architect of massacres and the politician considered most responsible for the deadly siege of Sarajevo, was arrested Monday evening in a Serbian police raid ending his 13 years as the world’s most-wanted war crimes fugitive.

His alleged partner in the persecution and “cleansing” of tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, remained at large.

A psychiatrist turned diehard Serbian nationalist politician, Karadzic is the suspected mastermind of mass killings that the U.N. war crimes tribunal described as “scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history.” They include the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, Europe’s worst slaughter since World War II.

A Serbian police source said Karadzic was arrested in a Belgrade suburb after weeks of surveillance of his safe house and a tip from a foreign intelligence service.

Serbian President Boris Tadic’s office said Karadzic has been taken before the investigative judge of Serbia’s war crimes court, a legal procedure that indicates he could soon be extradited to the U.N. court at The Hague, Netherlands. Investigative judge Milan Dilparic said early today that Karadzic was “being questioned.”

However, it was unclear whether Belgrade planned to extradite him to The Hague for trial by the U.N. tribunal, or attempt to try him in Serbia.

Serbia braced for a possible reaction from ultranationalists who are believed to have helped shelter Karadzic and Mladic over the years. Karadzic’s reported hide-outs included Serbian Orthodox monasteries and refurbished mountain caves in remote eastern Bosnia.

Heavily armed special forces were deployed around the war-crimes court in Belgrade as dozens of Karadzic supporters gathered nearby. Several were arrested after attacking reporters in front of the courthouse.

© Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email