Date registered: Apr 2004
Location: The BlueGrass State
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Genocide Suspect en route to the Hague...no, the other one.
BELGRADE, Serbia (CNN) -- Former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic was en route from a detention facility in Belgrade, Serbia, to The Hague on Wednesday to answer war crimes charges.
He faces 11 charges, including genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war stemming from the 1992-95 conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, while he led the breakaway Serb republic after its secession from Yugoslavia.
The onetime psychiatrist and aspiring poet was arrested last week after more than a decade as a fugitive.
His extradition came amid clashes between Serbian riot police and protesters on the fringes of a rally in Karadzic's support.
Thousands of people attended the Belgrade rally organized by Serbian radicals and ultra-nationalists who view him as a hero of the Bosnian war.
Serbian radio reported four police officers injured in the clashes. One eyewitness told CNN rubber bullets were fired as well as the tear gas.
Riot police were deployed around Belgrade as demonstrators from across Serbia and neighboring Bosnia arrived in the city for the rally.
President Boris Tadic warned: "There is no sense protesting against the fact that in this country we are obeying the law."
Only a small number were involved in clashes with police. Peaceful protesters sang nationalist songs and carried banners of Karadzic. Some also chanted anti-government slogans for what they consider the betrayal of Karadzic and, according to The Associated Press, called for Tadic's death.
CNN's Alessio Vinci said as many as 10,000 joined the rally but pointed out that earlier this year more than 250,0000 Serbs protested when Kosovo declared its independence.
"I'm here to support the movement of the people, to defend Karadzic from those cannibals in The Hague -- so-called judges," one man told CNN. "That is not judgment. That is inquisition."
And a female protester said: "He is a symbol of freedom, of justice, of him who defends Serbia. He represents the best of Serbia."
Karadzic's lawyer, Svetozar Vujacic declined to say Monday whether he had filed an appeal. Court officials said Tuesday that they had still to receive the appeal.
If no appeal has been lodged, Serb authorities could transfer Karadzic to The Hague at any time.
However, analysts said the political parties sympathetic to the nationalist cause have faced setbacks at the polls. In May, for example, Tadic's pro-Western coalition received 38 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections, compared with 29 percent for the ultra-nationalists.
"They [the ultra-nationalists] are unsuccessful, so since they have lost their chance, they have lost hope for their political future," said Stevan Niksic, a Serb journalist. "They are now marginalized."
A one-time psychiatrist and self-styled poet, Karadzic declared himself president of a Bosnian Serb republic when Bosnia-Herzegovina seceded from Yugoslavia in 1992.
The Serbs, backed by Yugoslav troops and paramilitary forces, quickly seized control of most of the country and laid siege to Sarajevo.
During the conflict that followed, Serb forces launched what they called the "ethnic cleansing" of the territories under their control -- the forced displacement and killings of Muslims and Croats in territories under their control.
Though Karadzic portrayed Serbs as victims, he is accused of overseeing the massacre at Srebrenica, a U.N. "safe area" Serb troops overran in July 1995. Nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed at Srebrenica, the worst European massacre since World War II.
Karadzic was removed from power in 1995, when the Dayton Accords that ended the Bosnian war barred anyone accused of war crimes from holding office.
Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.