July 23, 2008

Serbian Media House Says Karadzic May Be Extradited on 26 July

Text of report in English by Serbian pro-western Belgrade-based Radio B92 website, on 23 July

Belgrade, 23 July: B92 understands that Radovan Karadzic's ID card in the name of Dragan Dabic was issued in Ruma.

Police are investigating who helped Karadzic obtain a false identity, and, as in the case of [another Hague indictee] Stojan Zupljanin, the possibility that he assumed the identity of a dead man is being looked into. Radovan Karadzic will be transferred to The Hague at the weekend [26 and 27 July] or early next week, says [Special War Crimes] Prosecution spokesman Bruno Vekaric. Speaking to B92, Vekaric said that he could not give the exact date for the extradition of the former Bosnian Serb leader, as it depended on the time frames adopted during the suspect's planned appeal against his extradition, as announced by his lawyer Svetozar Vujacic.

"It is hard to say exactly what day Karadzic will be extradited. His identity has officially been confirmed. The defence now has three days in which to appeal, which Karadzic's lawyer has already said he will do. Afterwards, the courts have three days in which rule on that appeal, everything finishes with the signature of interior minister. Realistically, we can expect it to be on Monday [28 July] or Tuesday [29 July], maybe even earlier, it all depends on when the court convenes," the spokesman explained.

Meanwhile, Vujacic has said that his client will be defending himself in The Hague. "Karadzic will have a legal expert team in Serbia to help him with his defence, but he will be representing himself at the Hague tribunal, just as [Serbian Radical Party chairman] Vojislav Seselj is doing in a such a masterful way," the lawyer told journalists in front of the Special Court. He did not rule out the possibility that his client could be transferred to The Hague at the weekend, as Vekaric hinted, and stressed that he would be lodging the appeal against Karadzic's extradition on Friday [25 July]. The lawyer explained that he was doing this in order to delay extradition, in order to help his client's family come and visit the former Bosnian Serb leader in custody in Belgrade. He added that the investigative judge had given the go-ahead for Karadzic's family to come and visit him, but that International High Representative to Bosnia-Hercegovina Miroslav Lajcak was hampering these efforts.

Karadzic's brother, Luka, told [Serbian state news agency] Tanjug that his brother was satisfied with the treatment he was receiving in the custody unit in Belgrade, where he has been since Monday [21 July] evening. "My brother, the lawyer, and myself have absolutely no complaints about the treatment of the staff there, who have conducted themselves very professionally," said Luka Karadzic, adding that he was expecting to visit his brother today.

Originally published by Radio B92 text website, Belgrade, in English 1404 23 Jul 08.

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