Guest Author - Jan Harper
Lawyers for former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Koradzic are currently fighting an extradition order from Serbia to the Netherlands. The former psychiatrist will face trial for genocide if the Belgrade War Crimes Court agrees to his extradition.
Koradzic was born in 1945 in Petnjica, Montenegro and was well known as a poet and Bosnian Serb politician.
'Frontline' called this man the 'world's most wanted man'. He is wanted for a whole string of alleged war crimes including setting up concentration camps which were called 'detention camps' and condoning inhumane and brutal treatment of men, women and children within those camps. Under international law, Koradzic does not need to have taken part in this genocide. Organising and condoning such crimes on such a large scale is enough to convict him.
More than eighty Serbs, Muslims and Croats have been tried for war crimes in what was the former country of Yugoslavia but this list has not included the names of many top leaders.
If the extradition goes ahead, Koradzic will face the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. This is the same court that tried Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic in 2001 for crimes against humanity in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia.
Koradzic will be charged with planning the siege of Sarajevo and ordering the massacre of 8000 Muslims at Srebrenica in one month,during the war of 1992-95.
Karadzic had been working as an alternative therapy practitioner during the ten years he was on the run from the authorities. He even had a website set up where he gave advice to hundreds of people on alternative health and sold various bullet-shaped objects called amulets. He worked under the name of Dr Dragan Dabic and had grown a long flowing beard. His long hair, tied in a ponytail added to his disguise.
There had been an outstanding international arrest warrant against him for more than ten years before his arrest on 21st July 2008 but he is apparently not co-operating with the police according to a report in the Financial Times (UK). The US Government had also offered a $5 million reward for the arrest of Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
Karadzic avoided capture partly because of help from his supporters who claim that he is no more a criminal than any other war time leader and evading capture for so long has made him something of a hero in the Bosnian Serb community. In 2004 it was decided that military action to secure his capture would not be likely to succeed and that political pressure was the the best route. Finally, this alleged war criminal was arrested while riding on a bus.
Meanwhile, the search for General Ratko Mladic, his second in command, continues.
UPDATE: Karadzic was move to the The Hague on 30th July after the Serbian Government ordered his extradition.