Mon, Jul 28, 2008 - Page 6 News List

Karadzic’s lawyer silent on details of court appeal

REGULAR POST Once the appeal has been received, Serbia’s war crimes court will have three days to decide on its merits before a final order for transfer is given


A supporter of Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic holds up a mask of Karadzic during a rally in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, on Saturday.


Warcrimes suspect Radovan Karadzic was unlikely to be transferred to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague before the middle of this week, his lawyer was quoted yesterday as saying.

Lawyer Svetozar Vujacic told the daily Vecernje Novoski newspaper he did not expect the former wartime Bosnian Serb leader to be transferred before Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest.

He continued to refuse to give details of the appeal he lodged against the transfer on behalf of his client at the last possible minute before the expiry of a deadline at midnight on Friday.

He had said on Saturday that the appeal had been sent by regular post in order to slow down the legal process.

“I can’t tell you what is written in the appeal, or when or from which post office it was sent,” he was quoted as saying by Vecernje Novosti.

“If I told you, the appeal would arrive at the court very quickly and Radovan Karadzic would already be on his way to The Hague,” he said.

Once the appeal has been received, a three-judge panel of Serbia’s war crimes court will have three days to decide on its merits before the justice ministry must issue a final order for the transfer.

Karadzic faces 11 charges at a war crimes tribunal, including genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide, for allegedly masterminding the 1995 slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica — Europe’s worst massacre since World War II.

Once Serb judges decide on the appeal, the case will be handed over to the Serbian government, which issues the final extradition order.

Vujacic predicted that because of the legal procedure, Karadzic cannot be extradited to The Hague before Wednesday or Thursday.

Karadzic was a fugitive for more than a decade before he was arrested.

Government officials say he was captured on Monday but Vujacic claims Karadzic was apprehended the previous week on a Belgrade bus and held incommunicado by unknown kidnappers for three days.

Vujacic has filed a lawsuit against Karadzic’s alleged abductors.

Responding to the lawsuit, a prosecutor spoke to Karadzic about the claims on Friday, Vujacic said.

Vujacic says his client plans to defend himself against UN genocide charges, just as his mentor, former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, did. Milosevic died in 2006 while on trial on genocide charges.

In Serbia, Karadzic’s arrest has sparked nationalist anger.

Several hundred ultranationalists — chanting Karadzic’s name and denouncing Serbian President Boris Tadic — have marched daily in Belgrade in support of Karadzic.

The demonstrators briefly scuffled with riot police on Friday and hurled burning torches at the Belgrade City Council building.

Since his capture, more possible news on Karadzic’s nearly 13 years under cover has emerged.

The Vecernje Novosti on Saturday published an interview with Karadzic’s nephew, Dragan Karadzic, claiming he was the only one who knew his uncle the fugitive had assumed the false identity of Dragan Dabic.

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