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Monday, July 21, 2008

FORMER BOSNIAN SERB LEADER RADOVAN KARADZIC, A TOP WAR CRIMES SUSPECT, ARRESTED IN SERBIA, HE WAS DIRECTLY LINKED TO DR MILAN KOVACEVIC

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, accused architect of massacres making him one of the world's top war crimes fugitives, was arrested on Monday evening in a sweep by Serbian security forces, the country's president and the U.N. tribunal said, the location and time of Karadžić's arrest, as well as other details officially remain unknown at this point. But Beta quotes "reliable sources" who said the former president of the Republic of Srpska was arrested in a Belgrade suburb after weeks of surveillance of his safe house and a tip from a foreign intelligence service. Hague fugitive Radovan Karadžić seen in 1996, left, and "in disguise", right, photographed in May this year .

Karadzic, a psychiatrist turned diehard Serbian nationalist politician, is accused of masterminding mass killings that the U.N. war crimes tribunal described as "scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history." He is accused of organizing the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica and other atrocities of the Bosnian war, see indictment here.

"I was informed by our colleagues in Belgrade about the successful operation which resulted in the arrest of Radovan Karadzic," the tribunal's head prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, said. Sveta Vujacic, Karadzic's lawyer, said the fugitive had been arrested on a public bus Friday 7/18/08, and held until he was brought to the court Monday. He was indicted on genocide charges in 1995 by the tribunal, and topped the its most-wanted list for more than a decade, allegedly resorting to elaborate disguises to elude authorities. Serbia has been under heavy pressure from the European Union to turn over suspects to the international tribunal.

President Boris Tadic's office said in a statement that Karadzic was arrested "in an action by the Serbian security services." If Karadzic is extradited to the tribunal in The Hague, he would be the 44th Serb suspect extradited to the tribunal. The others include former President Slobodan Milosevic, who was ousted in 2000 and died in 2006 while on trial on war crimes charges.

"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 and that sooner or later all fugitives will be brought to justice," Brammertz said.

Karadzic has been a fugitive since he was indicted in July 1995. Charges against him include genocide, murder, inhumane acts, and other crimes committed during the 1992-1995 war. His indictment alleges that he, acting together with others such as Dr. Milan Kovacevic who ran his concentration camps, committed the crimes to secure control of areas of Bosnia which had been proclaimed part of the "Serbian Republic" and significantly reducing its non-Serb population.

The man responsible for the day-to-day administration of Camp Omarska concentration camp, and two others, was Dr. Milan Kovacevic , a anaesthetist by profession. Dr. Milan Kovacevic was a bear of a man (very big) with a pale moustache and said there was nothing the world could teach the Serbs about concentration camps, since he had been born in one. He remained a proud nationalist. "The facts showed it necessary to destroy Bosnia. I wanted to make this Serb land. Without Muslims, yes. We cannot live together. I still hold that view., quote Dr. Milan Kovacevic. In the camps and detention facilities, the Serb forces (Red Berets) are said to have targeted the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, in particular intellectuals, professional and political leaders, and males of military age, who were singled out for killing, torture, and other inhumane treatment, same procedure was used by the Nazi SS with the Jews in Eastern Europe during the increased persecution pograms of 1938–1942. Serbian "Red Berets Secret Police" appear to be patterend after the Nazi SS of WWII, click here for VIDEO.

On Saturday 7/19/08, Serb authorities turned over an ex-Bosnian Serb police chief, Stojan Zupljanin, who was arrested in the town of Pancevo last week after nine years on the run. A Belgrade court on Friday rejected his appeal against extradition and Zupljanin pleaded innocent Monday to 12 charges of murder, torture and persecution of Bosnian Muslims and Croats in 1992.

Zupljanin was charged with war crimes for allegedly overseeing Serb-run prison camps in Bosnia-Hercegovina for Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, including the Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje camps, which Dr. Milan Kovacevic was in charge of and where thousands of Muslims and Croats were killed during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia.

The most brutal functions of the sluzba bezbjednosti (state security) personnel could alternatively be carried out with the paramilitary units," among them the Red Berets, a paramilitary unit possibly under the direct command of Radovan Karadzic. A visit to Omarska by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki (then Helsinki Watch) representatives in August 1992 confirmed that access to the camps was granted by local police authorities, not by the military, although there was considerable collaboration between the two

Karadzic's reported hide-outs included Serbian Orthodox monasteries and refurbished mountain caves in remote eastern Bosnia. Some newspaper reports said he had at times disguised himself as a priest by shaving off his trademark silver mane and donning a brown cassock.

As leader of Bosnia's Serbs, Karadzic hobnobbed with international negotiators and his interviews were top news items during the 3 1/2-year Bosnian war, 1992 to 1995, set off when a government dominated by Slavic Muslims and Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1992. Radovan KARADZIC was a founding member of the Serbian Democratic Party (hereafter SDS) which was established within the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter Bosnia and Herzegovina) on 12 July 1990. From 12 July 1990 until his resignation on 19 July 1996, Radovan KARADZIC was President of the SDS. In that capacity he also, inter alia, presided over meetings of the SDS Main Board.

But his life changed by the time the war ended in late 1995 with an estimated 250,000 people dead and another 1.8 million driven from their homes. He was indicted twice by the U.N. tribunal on genocide charges stemming from his alleged crimes against Bosnia's Muslims and Croats.

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