Dragan Filipovic/AP
Radovan Karadzic in 1995

Fugitive War Criminal Radovan Karadzic is Finally Caught

July 22, 2008 04:18 PM
by Christopher Coats
After thirteen years of evasion, disguises and assumed identities, the search for one of the United Nations’ most wanted men has come to an end.

30-Second Summary

Though the exact location of his arrest remains unknown, Radovan Karadzic was taken into custody earlier this week for his role in the organized execution of 8,000 Muslim men and children in the town of Screbrenica in the summer of 1995.

At the time, Karadzic was the president of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, later renamed Republika Srpska.

Charged for his role in the event shortly after it occurred, Karadzic denied the legitimacy of the UN court for nearly two years before going into hiding.

Cutting his shock of grey hair and assuming a false identity, the former president spent the last eleven years living in refurbished caves and monasteries before taking on the role of a doctor practicing alternative medicine in Belgrade.

Karadzic is the second of the court’s three most wanted criminals alongside General Ratko Mladic and Serb President Slobodan Milosevic, who died just before he was scheduled to go to trial in 2006.

Questions surrounding Karadzic’s years on the run have not only produced doubt about the effectiveness of the court, but also suggested collaboration from within the existing government.

However, recent pressure from the EU regarding the admission of Serbia into the European Union and the ascent of a new pro-EU government in Belgrade appears to have been the catalyst for his arrest.

The EU required the arrest of all existing war criminals as criteria for Serbia’s admission into the European Union.

Headline Links: ‘Serbia captures fugitive Karadzic’

Reaction: The UN criminal court

Background: Screbrenica

Key Figures: Serge Brammertz, General Ratko Mladic

Reference: The search for Karadzic


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