July 25, 2008

Bosnian Daily Details Karadzic’s Daughter’s Telephone Conversations With Lawyer

Text of report by Bosnian wide-circulation privately-owned daily Dnevni avaz, on 24 July

[Report by I. Catic: "Butcher in Custody Asks Only for Water, Pills"]

After Radovan Karadzic was arrested on the bus to Batajnica at 2130 hrs. [2030 gmt] on 18 July, he was brought to the Special War Crimes Court in Belgrade wearing a hat. He was picked up by "boys" who showed him "some" badges.

The most wanted war criminal had immediately realized the situation he was in, but he did not know where he was actually kept for three days, until Monday [ 21 July], when the Serbian authorities informed the public about his arrest.

Fila Wanted

Dnevni Avaz has learned that this is what Karadzic's lawyer Svetozar Vujovic told Sonja Karadzic on early Tuesday, at around three o'clock, after he had his first conversation with the criminal in custody.

"Who arrested him, he does not know. He does not know where they had taken him. They put a hat on his head. He just knows that he was in a small room. They treated him correctly. He has asked for medication, 50 milligrams of Zoloft (a known antidepressant), and he will get it right away. It has been ruled that requirements have been met to extradite him to The Hague. He did not hide his identity. He said, 'Yes, I am Radovan Karadzic.' But, he does not want to talk to them, because he thinks there is no point and he would just waste his time," the lawyer related his conversation with the war criminal to Karadzic's daughter, whom he had contacted through Luka Karadzic.

The soon-to-be inmate of Scheveningen had no objections to the behaviour of his guards in Belgrade. They offered him refreshments and food, but he refused to take them. He came to the judge "calm and quiet," and said that he was not on a hunger strike. He only asked for water, and it was immediately brought to him. Sonja recommended that her father not be given bottled water because "she heard on the news" that some bottled water was not toxicologically safe.

On the night of 22 July, Karadzic was not immediately allowed to see his brother Luka, but the investigative judge within 15 minutes allowed Vujacic to speak to the detainee.

Considering that the current legal representative is a friend of the family, Karadzic talked to him about his life in Belgrade. He said that he had recently been in rehabilitation in a spa near the Serbian capital and that he "lived a normal life, worked and moved," and had even been a doctor in some Belgrade clinics.

"He is informed 100 per cent. Besides, he reads the press every day," Vujacic said, as the source knowledgeable about the lawyer's conversations with Karadzic family members conveyed to Dnevni Avaz.

Karadzic asked his lawyer urgently to contact Kosta Cavoski, a lawyer and protector of his criminal image, because he wanted to hire him as his adviser. Although Sonja agreed with her father's choice, she insisted that his defence team also include Toma Fila, the head of the legal team of Balkan butcher Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague.

Beard Killing Him

In the early morning hours of Tuesday [22 July] Sonja, frightened and crying, repeatedly asked Vujacic what her father looked like and how he was "holding on." She was told from Belgrade that Karadzic had lost weight and "the beard was killing him, but he was "fine psychologically" and would "welcome greetings of old friends."

Karadzic also gave the lawyer a list of clothes he wanted brought to him in prison, while Vujacic got from the investigative judge the keys to the apartment where the criminal had lived.

[Box] Gift for Brammertz

During his conversation with Sonja, Luka Karadzic described his being "shocked" by the news that her father had been arrested and that he had learned about it on television. Sonja said that she thought that the entire affair was "some game." Her uncle agreed and added, "Tomorrow this Brammertz guy is coming from The Hague. They want to give him Radovan as a present, that is for sure."

Appeal to Miroslav Lajcak

In her contacts with Belgrade over the past two days, the criminal's daughter inquired about the possibility of lifting the family's ban from leaving Bosnia-Hercegovina. She talked about this to, among others, the lawyer Vujacic. She recommended that he "push this matter from there (Belgrade)." She even asked whether "the judge could ask Lajcak to lift the ban."

Karadzices Not To Get Travel Documents

Dnevni Avaz has learned that Radovan Karadzic's family will not be allowed to get back their documents to travel to Belgrade.

Despite the persistent requests, the B-H authorities will not lift the ban for the family of the Durmitor butcher, because it is believed that they would abuse this and escape from Bosnia- Hercegovina to Serbia or some other country.

Karadzic's family is the heart of the support network of those who are helping war crimes indictees hide, and this is the reason why they will not get their B-H travel documents back.

To make sure that Karadzices stay where they are, this war criminal's family is under constant surveillance.

Originally published by Dnevni avaz, Sarajevo, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 24 Jul 08, p3.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring European. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.