- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Arrested Bosnian Serb war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic lived freely in Belgrade, using the name Dragan Dabic and posing as a doctor of alternative medicine, Serbian officials said Tuesday.

They also said that a judge has ordered Mr. Karadzic’s transfer to the U.N. war-crimes tribunal at The Hague, and the suspect has three days to appeal the decision.

“The fact that he was involved with alternative medicine, earning his money from practicing alternative medicine, shows that he worked,” said Rasim Ljajic, the Serbian minister responsible for relations with the tribunal, at a news conference in Belgrade.

“He was working in a private practice and the last place where he had residence was New Belgrade,” Mr. Ljajic said at a brief press conference in reference to one of the Serbian capital’s neighborhoods.

Video:‘Butcher of Bosnia’ arrested in Serbia

At the press conference, which was carried live by many international television networks, the minister showed a photograph of Mr. Karadzic, who had long hair and beard and wore glasses.

Mr. Ljajic said that Mr. Karadzic, 63 and a psychiatrist by training, had been living convincingly as a non-Serbian citizen, using false papers.

The Serbian government said that he was arrested Monday, “in an action by the Serbian security services.” His lawyer, however, claimed that the arrest had taken place on Friday, on a public bus.

“He just said that these people showed him a police badge and than he was taken to some place and kept in the room,” Sveta Vujacic told Associated Press Television News.

Serbia’s war-crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic said at the Belgrade press conference that Mr. Karadzic had been questioned and his identity confirmed.

The former Bosnian Serb political leader has been a fugitive for 13 years. He has been charged with organizing the infamous deadly siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 massacre of as many as 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica.

The official charges, last amended in May 2000, include genocide, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts and other crimes committed against Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia during the 1992-1995 war.

He would be the 44th Serbian suspect handed over to The Hague. His capture became possible after a pro-Western government took office in Belgrade earlier this month.

Gen. Ratko Mladic, the wartime military leader who was expected to be arrested first, remains at large. He is believed to be living in Serbia, while Mr. Karadzic was thought to be hiding in the so-called Republika Srpska, the Serbian part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Mr. Ljajic said that Mr. Karadzic was found by a team sent by the government to trail people believed to be helping Gen. Mladic, and that his house had been under surveillance for days.

“We will use this information to track down the other Hague-accused,” the minister said in reference to Gen. Madic.



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