THE MASTERMIND OF SREBRENICA GENOCIDE, HAILED AS THE “OSAMA BIN LADEN OF EUROPE,” WAS 13 YEARS ON THE RUN
PHOTO: Here is your Caveman!
Radovan Karadzic aka Dragan Dabic, aka Dragan David Dabic.
Former Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, one of the world’s most wanted men, has been arrested in Serbia’s capital of Belgrade on Monday. His reported hide-outs included Serbian Orthodox monasteries and refurbished mountain caves in remote eastern Bosnia. He is is said to have eluded arrest so long by shaving his swoopy gray hair and disguising himself as a Serbian Orthodox priest. Karadzic is indicted for orchestrating the Srebrenica genocide, the worst attrocity in Europe since World War Two, and other grave human rights violations, including the 43-month siege of Sarajevo which claimed 12,000 lives – 1,500 of them children.
It will be interesting how Radovan Karadzic’s defence will play out in a court of law. Radical Serbian ultra-nationalists have had 13 years to forge evidence in Karadzic’s defense. What we can expect to see during the trial is forged evidence signed by “Radovan Karadzic” presumably showing that he ‘respected’ all Geneva Conventions and never intended to harm anybody.
Hopefully the international judges will not let themselves be distracted from doing their job properly.
Karadzic practiced alternative medicine in Belgrade and also worked in a private doctor’s surgery under the alias Dragan David Dabic. He had moved freely through the city, and had appeared in public places. He even appeared on radio shows and spoke in a forum dedicated to healthy lifestyles. He was even a contributor for the Zdrav Život (Healthy Life) magazine.
“A major thug has been removed from the scene,” former US envoy to the Balkans Richard Holbrooke said, describing Radovan Karadzic as the “Osama Bin Laden of Europe.”
To bring Karadzic to justice, the United States Government offered $5 million reward for information leading to his arest.
Within minutes of Karadzic’s arrest, the news had quickly spread through Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, with the city’s street jammed with honking cars and people pouring out of cafes and restaurants, many singing and chanting.
Natasha Kandic, director of the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, said to New York Times by telephone from her home moments after hearing the news: “I’m still in shock. This is historic news. Nobody believed anymore this would be possible. I was sure Karadzic was under the protection of the church.”
The White House called the arrest “an important demonstration of the Serbian government’s determination to honor its commitment to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal.”
“The arrest of Radovan Karadzic is confirmation that every criminal will eventually face justice,” said Munira Subasic, who lost 22 members of her family in Srebrenica genocide. “I hope that people who had to keep quiet because of Karadzic will start revealing the locations of mass graves and let us find the truth about our beloved ones,” she said.
“This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest for over a decade. It is also an important day for international justice because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law,” said Serge Brammertz, the tribunal’s head prosecutor.
A statement from the EU presidency, currently held by France, said the arrest was “an important step on the path to the rapprochement of Serbia with the European Union.”
At the United Nations in New York, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, welcomed what he said was “a historic moment for the victims” of the Bosnian war who he said had waited 13 years to see Karadzic brought to justice. “Ending impunity is an essential element for achieving sustainable peace and justice in the region,” Ban said.