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Karadzic Watch

Yugoslavia War Crimes Prosecutor Says She Expects Arrest of Karadzic Very Soon
Edith M. Lederer | United Nations | June 30

AP – The lead war crimes prosecutor for former Yugoslavia said she is confident that notorious Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who has eluded capture for 10 years, would be nabbed as early as Wednesday.

Jun 30, 2004

War Crimes Prosecutor Says She Expects Arrest of Bosnian Serb Wartime Leader Karadzic by Wednesday
By Edith M. Lederer
Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The lead war crimes prosecutor for former Yugoslavia said she is confident that notorious Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who has eluded capture for 10 years, would be nabbed as early as Wednesday.
Carla del Ponte said Karadzic, who played a key role in the Balkan wars, was being pursued, but would go no further in explaining her optimism.

“Of course I have (information). But you all understand that I cannot tell it now publicly,” Del Ponte said Tuesday. “Let’s obtain the arrest of Karadzic and after we will speak about what we have done.”

Del Ponte was responding to a question about a report that she felt Karadzic would be handed over to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, this month. When a reporter noted that June ends on Wednesday, she replied: “I’m still expecting (it), yes. But let’s see.”

Del Ponte, the lead United Nations war crimes prosecutor, spoke after appearing before the U.N. Security Council. She told diplomats it was unacceptable that Karadzic and his military chief, Gen. Ratko Mladic, were still fugitives nearly 10 years after the Dayton peace agreement was signed ending the war in Bosnia.

Karadzic was the leader of Bosnia’s Serbs during the ethnic war that claimed 200,000 lives and left 1.8 million people homeless.

Serbs opposed to Bosnia’s independence from Yugoslavia fought against Muslims and Croats who supported it. The Dayton accord divided Bosnia into two mini-states – the Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb republic.

Karadzic is accused of having masterminded Bosnia’s 1992-95 war with Slobodan Milosevic, who was then the leader of Yugoslavia and who’s accused of working to create a “greater Serbia.” Milosevic is currently being tried at The Hague for genocide.

Karadzic and Mladic were indicted in 1995 by the U.N. tribunal on charges of genocide for their alleged roles in atrocities that included the Bosnian Serb massacre of up to 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica, the worst mass killing in Europe since World War II.

“How long will it be tolerated that these leaders escape justice?” del Ponte asked.

She placed the blame squarely on Serbia and Montenegro and the Serb-controlled half of Bosnia known as Republika Srpska.

Del Ponte told the Security Council that since December, authorities in Serbia-Montenegro had provided “almost no cooperation” with the prosecutor’s office and the country “has become a safe haven for fugitives.”

At least 15 fugitives, including Mladic, “spend most of their time there,” she said.

“According to information recently obtained, fugitives that were believed to reside in Republika Srpska have moved across the border,” del Ponte said.

NATO-led peacekeepers deployed in Bosnia have a standing order to arrest Karadzic, but dozens of raids have been unsuccessful. Karadzic has a network of supporters and is believed to change his location several times a day.

But with this weekend’s presidential election in Serbia finally putting a pro-Western politician, reformist Boris Tadic, at the helm of the country, things may soon change in Serbia.

Serbia’s U.N. Ambassador Nebojsa Kaludjerovic told the Security Council that following Sunday’s elections the government will “honor its obligations” to the U.N. court “as soon as possible.”

Del Ponte welcomed the statement but said she wants results, noting that 20 people indicted by the tribunal are still fugitives along with two accused whose indictments and arrest warrants are sealed.

“Let’s stay optimistic,” del Ponte said afterward, “and let’s see that Karadzic and Mladic are arrested.”

AP-ES-06-30-04 0128EDT

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4 comments to Karadzic Watch

  • Anonymous

     War Crimes Fugitives Try to Beat Trial Deadline, Del Ponte Says

    June 30 (Bloomberg) — War crimes suspects hiding in Balkan nations are trying to beat the deadline of 2008 for the United Nations war crimes tribunal to complete its trials, Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said.

    “Fugitives and their protective networks are trying to buy time until 2008, in hopes of evading justice,” Del Ponte told the UN Security Council yesterday, according to a UN transcript. A UN statement that the tribunal in The Hague will stay open as long as necessary “would serve the interests of justice.”

    The tribunal has had almost no cooperation from the government of Serbia and Montenegro since December, Del Ponte said. As many as 20 indicted suspects are still at large in Serbia and Montenegro and in Republika Srpska, the Serbian republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina, she said.

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is mandated to complete its trials by 2008 and review all appeals by 2010. The court has completed or is holding trials for 59 defendants and has 33 suspects in detention or on provisional release awaiting trial, Judge Theodor Meron, president of The Hague tribunal, told the Security Council.

    Serbia and Montenegro has become a “safe haven” for fugitives, Del Ponte said. At least 15 of the suspects still at large spend most of their time in the country, including Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb army commander during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, she said.

    Fugitives Move

    Fugitives hiding in Republika Srpska have moved across the border into Serbia, according to the latest information, Del Ponte said in her address.

    “I am even reluctant now to pass on any information on the fugitives to the Serbian authorities,” she said. “The last time I gave precise information regarding a high-level fugitive charged with the Srebrenica genocide, I was told by the Serbian authorities that, due to the political circumstances, it was not opportune to arrest him. I learnt he disappeared since then.”

    Croatia is fully cooperating with the tribunal and former Croatian General Ante Gotovina may be located and brought to The Hague soon, Del Ponte said.

    Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the war, are the highest-ranking suspects still at large. Peacekeepers in Bosnia have failed in several attempts to arrest Karadzic, who is accused of a leading role in the 1995 massacre by Serb forces of 7,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica.

    A poll earlier this month showed more than 60 percent of Bosnian Serbs consider Karadzic a hero and not a war criminal, Agence France-Presse reported at the time.

    About 200,000 people died in the Bosnian war. Under the Dayton agreement that ended the conflict, Bosnia-Herzegovina was split into two semi-independent entities, the Bosnian Serb republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

    Babic Sentenced

    The tribunal in The Hague yesterday sentenced Milan Babic, a former leader of Serbs in Croatia, to 13 years in prison for his role in the ethnic cleansing campaign against Croats between 1991 and 1992 during Croatia’s war of independence from Yugoslavia.

    Slobodan Milosevic, 62, who was ousted as Yugoslavia’s president in 2000, is the first former head of state to face an international war crimes trial. His trial process in The Hague has already lasted for two years.

    To contact the reporter on this story:
    Paul Tighe in Sydney at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    Paul Tighe at

  • Anonymous

    This article is from June 20,2004

    NATO sends birthday card to Karadzic
    June 20, 2004

    Even on his birthday, NATO-led peacekeepers did not want Bosnia’s top fugitive war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic to forget they were still looking for him.

    So yesterday they put up posters representing birthday cards. But instead of tender greetings and good wishes, the posters bore a more threatening message: “Radovan, we did not forget you.”

    Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb wartime leader, spent his 59th birthday hiding in the Bosnian Serb part of the country. He was indicted in 1995 by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, for genocide and other atrocities committed during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.

    One poster depicted a one-way ticket to The Hague, with the inscription “The only gift soon,” hinting peacekeepers may soon escort Karadzic to the court to face justice.

    The other poster showed a candle about to burn out, implying Karadzic wouldn’t be able to hide forever.

    The posters were put up in the Bosnian Serb wartime stronghold of Pale, east of Sarajevo, but by noon many had been removed by irate residents.

     Karadzic still enjoys support from a part of the Bosnian Serb population, particularly in Pale where his headquarters was during the war.

    The posters were part of an “ongoing campaign to remind the local population that support to persons indicted for war crimes is illegal,” said Lt Mark Hope, the peacekeepers’ spokesman.

    NATO-led peacekeepers have tried repeatedly to arrest Karadzic. His freedom is a huge obstacle to Bosnia’s admission into the NATO Partnership for Peace Program, which is aimed at increasing cooperation between former Soviet bloc nations and NATO in peacekeeping and other areas.

    If he is not apprehended, Bosnia will be rejected at the NATO summit in Istanbul at the end of June, and authorities from the Bosnian Serb part of the country will be blamed.

    The country is divided into two parts, one run by Bosnian Serbs, the other shared by Muslims and Croats.


  • Anonymous

    googled it cuz I wanted to know more: LOL:

    Yahoo! News Search results for bosnia… NATO sends birthday card to Bosnia s Karadzic Open … Bosnia-Herzegovina Even on his birthday, NATO-led peacekeepers did not want Radovan Karadzic to forget … news?p=bosnia&n=20&c=news – 43k –  

    so google is using yahoo now?? :)

  • Anonymous

    Title : Sixty Bosnian Serbs sacked for aiding fugitive war crimes suspects  
    By :  
    Date : 01 July 2004 0146 hrs (SST)  
    URL :  

    SARAJEVO : Sixty Bosnian Serb officials were sacked by international High Representative Paddy Ashdown for allegedly helping fugitive war crimes suspects including Radovan Karadzic evade capture.

    Ashdown launched a major purge of the Bosnian Serb leadership under far-reaching powers granted to his office by the 1995 Dayton peace accords which ended the country’s 1992-95 war.

    The move came just days after NATO leaders, during a summit this week in Turkey, decided not to invite Bosnia to join the alliance’s Partnership for Peace programme due to its failure to arrest top war crimes fugitives.

    “In all I am removing some 60 people today … to root out those people who have hideous responsibility for creating the climate of secrecy, intimidation and criminal impunity that allows indicted war criminals to evade justice,” Ashdown told reporters.

    “We have to get rid of the cancer of obstructionism and corruption in the (Bosnian Serb) structures and nothing less than major surgery will do.”

    The two biggest heads to roll were Zoran Djeric, the interior minister of the Serb-run Republika Srpska, and Bosnian Serb parliamentary speaker Dragan Kalinic.

    Kalinic has also been removed from his post as the president of the nationalist Serb Democratic Party (SDS), the ruling coalition leader in the Republika Srpska (RS) which was founded by Karadzic and is accused of helping him evade international justice.

    Ashdown said Kalinic had failed to ensure adequate financial controls in the SDS to prevent money leaking to Karadzic.

    A defiant Kalinic informed the Bosnian Serb parliament of his removal and accused Ashdown of violating his human rights.

    “Many are helpless because Karadzic is most likely protected by God and his angels,” he told the assembly. “This is the most brutal purge of the RS political scene so far.”

    Djeric, the vice-president of the Party of Democratic Progress (PDS) in the Bosnian Serb ruling coalition, is in charge of the domestic security agencies which are supposed to be hunting Karadzic.

    Bosnian Serb President Dragan Cavic in his address to public described the measures as “draconian, unprecendented and unheard of in today’s democratic world.”

    “All this dismissals have directly jeopardized RS institutions and caused the hardest institutional crisis so far,” he said, adding that he would take necessary measures in the following days to ward off crisis.

    Cavic also accused Ashdown of helping those Muslim and Croat politicians who are calling for the abolition of the Serb-run entity.

    Deputies of both parties walked out of parliament after the sackings were announced.

    Ashdown said the failure of Bosnian Serb institutions to cooperate with the UN war crimes tribunal was the “chief obstacle to this country becoming a stable, peaceful and prosperous European democracy”.

    The envoy also froze all of the SDS’s bank accounts and ordered them to be consolidated into one transparent account.

    He also redirected the party’s budgetary support, worth more than half a million dollars annually, to central government institutions that are soon to be tasked with hunting and prosecuting war crimes suspects.

    The Republika Srpska is the only part of the former Yugoslav federation, which imploded in bitter inter-ethnic confict in the 1990s, which has failed to arrest a single war crimes suspect since the war.

    Wartime Bosnian Serb political leader Karadzic and his military commander, Ratko Mladic, are wanted for war crimes and genocide by the UN tribunal at The Hague.

    Their crimes allegedly include the massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim boys and men at the eastern town of Srebrenica in 1995, the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II, as well as the more than three-year siege of Sarajevo.

    Karadzic is believed to shuffle between hideouts in Bosnia, where he is seen as a hero by most Serbs, and neighbouring Montenegro, using an underground network of powerful friends to stay out of sight.

    Mladic is allegedly hiding in neighbouring Serbia although officials in Belgrade deny this.

    NATO-led peacekeepers have been tracking Karadzic in Bosnia for years but have failed to capture him despite launching a number of high-profile raids.

    Post-war Bosnia is comprised of two entities — the Serbs’ Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

    - AFP
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