27 Jul 2008

Bosnian Serbs march in support of Karadzic

10:47 am on 27 July 2008

Several thousand Bosnian Serbs have joined hour-long processions throughout the Serb half of Bosnia in support of the detained war crimes accused, Radovan Karadzic.

The peaceful midday marches and lighting of candles were organised by the nationalist Serb Democratic Party founded by Mr Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the 1992-95 war in the former Yugoslav republic.

Some 2,000 people, led by the current SDS leader Mladen Bosic, gathered on Saturday in Pale, Radovan Karadzic's stronghold outside Sarajevo during the war, where his family still lives.

Supporters carried pictures of the former leader reading "Don't touch", "We are with you", "Serb hero", and "The power of prayer".

Some also wore T-shirts depicting him and his wartime military chief General Ratko Mladic, who is also wanted by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.


The UN war crimes court in The Hague has charged the 63-year-old with genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1992-95 Bosnia war.

The United Nations says Mr Karadzic's forces killed up to 8000 Bosnian men and boys from Srebrenica in July 1995 as part of a campaign to "terrorise and demoralise the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population".

The lawyer for the former Bosnian Serb wartime leader says he will will be extradited to the UN war crimes court in The Hague on Wednesday or Thursday.

However lawyer Svetozar Vujacic refused to confirm that he had filed an appeal against the extradition before the deadline for doing so expired on Friday night.

"I can't tell you anything about the appeal. Karadzic has strictly forbidden me to tell you anything," he told Belgrade journalists.

If an appeal was filed, the court would have three days to discuss it and would most likely meet and decide on Monday.

Serbia's Ministry of Justice has to sign the extradition warrant before Karadzic can be sent to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

He was arrested on Monday evening in Belgrade after 12 years on the run. He was posing as an alternative medicine and mediation expert who healed with prayers and bio-energy.