but the current government in Belgrade has made up its mind to send Karadzic to the Hague as soon as possible. This is to prevent the situation from deteriorating on the one hand and to satisfy the EU on the other. The EU has always made “surrender of war criminal suspects” a condition for Serbia’s accession to the EU. The article
is excerpted from the 5th edition of China Youth Daily on July 31, 2008. The author: Wang Hui. The original title: Karadzic has been extradited to the Hague.
Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, was extradited to the Hague, the Netherlands on July 30, He was held in the same prison as his former old friends and enemies, where former Yugoslav president Milosevic spent the last five years of his life.
a few hours earlier, a large-scale rally and demonstration broke out in the Serbian capital Belgrade on the evening of 29 to protest the government’s arrest and extradition of Karadzic.
extradition: Karadzic was taken masked.
Serbian prosecutor Vukcevic said that at about 3:45 a.m. on the 30th, Serbian security personnel took Karadzic out of the Belgrad war crimes tribunal masked, took him into a jeep waiting outside and drove to the airport. After arriving at the airport, the security personnel hurriedly pushed him into a white plane and the plane took off immediately.
two hours later, the plane with the Serbian government logo arrived at Rotterdam Airport in the Netherlands.
the helicopters already waiting there immediately took off and transported Karadzic to the United Nations detention center near the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
the Serbian Ministry of justice has issued a statement confirming the transfer: “according to the cooperation agreement reached between Serbia and the ICTY, the Ministry of justice decided to transfer Karadzic to the ICTY. The Belgrade District Court previously determined that the Karadzic case met the conditions for extradition.”
in prison: old friends and old enemies meet again in prison.
there are 84 cells in this detention center. Each cell is about 15 square meters, equipped with toilet and bathing facilities and a table.
there are currently 37 other prisoners held here, including momcilo kraishnik, speaker of Parliament when Karadzic was president. Kraishnik was sentenced to 27 years in prison and is currently appealing. Karadzic will also meet his former enemy, Bosnian Muslim general Rasim delic here. Delic was tried for murder, ill treatment and other crimes against Serbs and Croats.
except during the noon shift, the cell door is mostly open. Prisoners can have computers, but they cannot access the Internet.
here, prisoners can watch TV channels in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France, as well as satellite TV programs in their own languages. They can also take art and language classes, go to the gym, library and entertainment room, play billiards and chess.
here, former Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic committed suicide and Milosevic died suddenly.
trials: facing 11 charges, it will take several years to close the case. The detention center of
will first verify the body of Karadzic, 63, collect fingerprints, take photos, and conduct a preliminary physical examination.
at about 7:10 Hague time (13:10 Beijing time), security personnel detained Karadzic in the prison of the ICTY.
the ICTY subsequently issued a statement saying: “Karadzic was transferred to this tribunal today after 13 years of exile.”
ICTY spokeswoman Nama yelachik confirmed that Karadzic had been detained by the ICTY and that “the tribunal will ensure his health and a fair trial”.
according to the law, a judge of the ICTY will interrogate Karadzic within a few days and ask him to plead guilty or plead not guilty. Sveta Vujacic, Karadzic’s defense lawyer for
, said Karadzic would make a decision in 30 days, which is also the longest period for Karadzic to make a decision.
Karadzic faces 11 charges, including genocide, genocide and persecution. Prosecutors accused him of plotting the 1995 massacre of 8000 Muslims.
the formal trial may start in a few months, and it may take years to close the case.
Vujacic said Karadzic was in good mental condition and was preparing to defend himself. He has two suits ready to appear in court, one light and one dark.
protest: ten thousand people demonstrated in Belgrade.
Karadzic was portrayed as a murderous devil in the west, while many Serbs regarded him as a national hero.
on the evening of the 29th, about 15000 people held a large-scale rally in Belgrade, many of whom came by car from all over Serbia and even Bosnia. They gathered to oppose the arrest and extradition of Radovan Karadzic by the new Serbian government. “I am here to oppose the extradition of Karadzic. He is a great man who built a state for the Serbs and saved Serbian children from genocide,” said slobodanka, 60 Elena, a 24-year-old supporter of
, said: “Karadzic is a hero. He protected the lives of Serbs in the terrible war of the 1990s. Everyone knows that the war crimes tribunal in the Hague is used to try Serbs, but release those war criminals who killed Serbs.”
legal experts said that as of the beginning of this year, 45 Serbs had been sentenced to 90 years in the last century at the war crimes tribunal in the HagueWar crimes were committed in the conflict of the s. There were 12 Croats and 4 Muslims convicted respectively. Supporters of
Karadzic are extremely dissatisfied with the release by the war crimes court of Haradinaj, former Prime Minister of Kosovo and former commander of the “Kosovo Liberation Army” charged with “ethnic cleansing”. Even then Serbian Prime Minister Kostunica condemned the verdict as a “mockery of justice”.
on the evening of the 29th, protesters wore T-shirts with Karadzic’s portrait and shouted: “long live Rado!” “Uprising! Uprising!” And other slogans. About 100 people, wearing masks and holding sticks, smashed traffic lights and threw stones at the shop glass. Police responded with electric batons and tear gas and blocked several communities.
Serbian media said that about 45 people were slightly injured in the demonstration, of which 25 were policemen.
the US embassy in Serbia warned us citizens to stay away from downtown Belgrade that night. The embassy was heavily protected by soldiers armed with machine guns.
pressure: hand over Karadzic and then talk to the EU
. At the protest rally, Karadzic’s brother Luka Karadzic called on the Serbian government not to extradite his brother to the International Court of justice in the Hague.
but the current government in Belgrade has made up its mind to send Karadzic to the Hague as soon as possible. This is to prevent the situation from deteriorating on the one hand and to satisfy the EU on the other.
the EU has always made “surrender of war criminal suspects” a condition for Serbia’s accession to the EU.
on the 29th, the ambassadors of 27 EU Member States to the EU reached a consensus in Brussels and decided to consider the implementation of the stability and contact agreement signed by the two sides after Karadzic was transferred to the ICTY in the Hague and the chief prosecutor of the tribunal determined that Serbia and the tribunal were “fully cooperative”. The EU will not make any decision on this until September. The signing and implementation of the
stability and association agreement is a sign that EU candidate countries have officially started the accession process.
Serbia signed the stability and association agreement with the EU in April this year.