Karadžić arrives in The Hague 30 Jul 2008
The Serbian authorities have extradited the former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadžić, to the Netherlands to face trial before the ICTY in The Hague.

Radovan Karadzic - as the world knew him during the Bosnian War (left) and in disguise (right).On Wednesday morning at 3.45 Belgrade time (1.45 GMT), Radovan Karadžić left the Serbian court building where he had been held since his arrest on 21 July. The Serbian government said in a statement that its justice ministry had issued a decree that allowed his handover to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Karadžić was then flown to Rotterdam airport in the Netherlands, where helicopters and cars were waiting to transport him to the Tribunal's detention unit.

The transfer of the former Bosnian Serb leader comes hours after a violent protest by thousands of his supporters in Belgrade led by the hard-line nationalist Radical Party. Belgrade's emergency clinic reported that 46 people received minor injuries during the protest, including 25 policemen and 21 civilians.

Scheveningen, ICTY Detention unitKaradžić spent nearly 13 years on the run before being arrested last week in Belgrade. His initial appearance before the ICTY is scheduled to take place on Thursday 31 July. Karadžić will be asked to enter a plea to each of the 11 charges he faces, including genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide. The accused may postpone entering his plea for up to 30 days. Karadžić's lawyer, Svetozar Vujaćić, has already announced that his client will not enter a plea but will instead ask for the full 30-day period.

Vujaćić also acknowledged that he had never filed an appeal against Karadžić's extradition. He said that he only used uncertainty over the appeal to help to delay Karadžić's handover.

‘Lesson learned’ from Milošević trial

ICTY Prosecutor Serge BrammertzIn a statement to the media following Karadžić’s transfer, ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz confirmed that the Prosecution would need “some months” in order to prepare for what promises to be a complex trial.

The Prosecutor, who succeeded Carla del Ponte at the beginning of 2008, stated that the Prosecution team was currently reviewing the indictment against Karadžić. The operative indictment in the case was last amended more than eight years ago on 28 April 2000.

Although Prosecutor Brammertz could give no indication as to when the trial would begin or how long it would last, he confirmed that the ‘lessons learned’ from the lengthy Milošević trial would be heeded by the Prosecution team in order to make the trial of Karadžić as efficient as possible, whilst still respecting the rights of the defence.

Responding to a question concerning the possibility of the former Bosnian Serb leader being tried alongside other accused at the Tribunal, the Prosecutor affirmed that they would try Karadžić separately although if Ratko Mladić were caught they would not rule out the possibility of joining the two cases.

Radovan Karadžić will make his initial appearance at the Tribunal on Thursday 31 July at 16.00.

Radovan Karadžić: research file
Press release
Statement of the Prosecutor

Page Tools
Share |