BELGRADE, Serbia – Radovan Karadzic’s defense team has filed an appeal to stop Serbia from extraditing the ex-Bosnian Serb leader to the U.N. war crimes tribunal, Karadzic’s brother said Sunday.
It was the first confirmation of the filing. Once Serb judges decide on the appeal – which they are likely to reject – the case will be handed over to the Serbian government, which issues the final extradition order.
Luka Karadzic visited his brother in a detention cell Sunday in the company of Karadzic’s lawyer. Asked later by reporters whether they had filed an appeal, Luka Karadzic said: “Of course we have.”
“Radovan is well, totally calm and relaxed,” Luka Karadzic said after the visit.
Karadzic faces 11 charges at the U.N. war crimes tribunal, including genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide. He is accused of masterminding the 1995 slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica and the 3 1/2 year siege of Sarajevo, which left 10,000 people dead.
Officials say the war crimes suspect was captured last Monday in Belgrade, where he lived under an assumed identity. His lawyer claims that Karadzic was kidnapped July 18 and held for three days by unknown captors.
Serbia’s new pro-Western government hopes that Karadzic’s arrest will boost the country’s bid for European Union membership. Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said Sunday the arrest proves the government’s “determination to respect international law.”
“It is no longer a question of political will,” Cvetkovic was quoted as saying by the state news agency Tanjug.
Several hundred ultranationalists marched Sunday for the sixth consecutive day in downtown Belgrade in support of Karadzic, but unlike some previous days, Sunday’s rally was not violent.