Thursday, July 24, 2008
Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader charged with genocide and war crimes, was arrested in Serbia after spending 13 years as a fugitive from justice. His arrest stunned many observers because he was indicted in 1995 and was living openly (under an assumed identity) in the city of Belgrade. His lawyer announced that Karadzic would act as his own attorney in any war crimes trial if he is handed over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Karadzic is suspected of being the architect of the murders of nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica. If he is transferred to stand trial in the Netherlands as expected, he would be the most notorious war crimes defendant to stand trial since Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president who was arrested in 2001 and put on trial in 2002. Milosevic also acted as his own attorney and refused to be represented by attorneys appointed by the court. Milosevivc died during the defense phase of his trial.