Wednesday 22 November 2017

Former psychiatrist spent 13 years on the run before capture

Radovan Karadzic pictured during his 13 years spent on the run. Photo: AP
Radovan Karadzic pictured during his 13 years spent on the run. Photo: AP
Radovan Karadzic with Ratko Mladic in 1995
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic awaiting his verdict in the Hague yesterday
A Bosnian Muslim woman cries during a mass funeral for victims of the Srebrenica massacre in in Potocari, Bosnia on July 11, 2005

Karadzic was arrested in July 2008, after almost 13 years on the run. He was charged with the genocide of around 8,000 unarmed Bosnian Muslims who were rounded up, killed and bulldozed into mass graves in Srebrenica in July 1995. He was also charged with war crimes including the kidnap, abuse, rape and killing of women and girls during the Bosnian war, and is held responsible for orchestrating the shelling of Sarajevo in 1995.

Karadzic represented himself when he appeared at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, denying all 11 charges. He told the trial at The Hague that Sarajevo, where some 12,000 people died in 44 months, was "not a city under siege" by Bosnian Serb forces. He also said that claims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre were based on "false myths".

Born in Montenegro in 1945, Karadzic trained as a psychiatrist, studying in both Sarajevo and New York before returning to Yugoslavia where he decided to move into politics after being influenced by Serbian writer Dobrica Cosic. He co-founded the Serbian Democratic Party, dedicated to keeping the Serbian community together.

When Bosnia was recognised as an independent state in 1992, Karadzic declared the independent Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and was voted president of the Bosnian-Serb administration.

The party, supported by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, organised Serbs to fight against the Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia. Karadzic and Mladic were jointly indicted in 1995 for alleged war crimes committed during the 1992-95 war.

Irish Independent

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