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Monday, 9 April, 2001, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Indicted Karadzic dreams of Nobel prize
Radovan Karadzic
Karadzic predicts award-winning best seller
The wartime leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic, has suggested that his forthcoming memoirs might be worthy of the Nobel prize.

Karadzic, indicted as a war criminal by the Hague tribunal, also said his book would cast a "dark shadow" over ex-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic - whom he could "never forgive" for failing to extend Serbia's borders into Bosnia.

The book will become a bestseller, and I'm sure even be proposed for the Nobel prize

Radovan Karadzic
Mr Karadzic, a poet and psychiatrist before the war, has told a Bosnian weekly newspaper, Danas, that his memoirs will become a bestseller.

He also claimed to have recently visited Sarajevo, and to have attended public events including baptisms, despite being one of the tribunal's most wanted men.

The interview is believed to be the first given by Mr Karadzic since he adopted a lower profile five years ago, after being indicted for war crimes during the Bosnian conflict.

The Danas reporter says he was blindfolded before being taken to meet him in a Serb-controlled village in Hercegovina.

Slobodan Milosevic
Old friends - but book will criticise Milosevic, says Karadzic
Despite the secrecy, Mr Karadzic insisted he was not in hiding.

"I am not in hiding at all, my people are hiding me," he was quoted in Danas as saying.

"You can ask any Serb if he would betray Radovan Karadzic... I walk around normally, go to baptism ceremonies, associate with my friends and my soldiers, I have recently been even in Sarajevo."

Mr Karadzic also said he would not be taken alive, and said the tribunal would be biased against him, adding: "If I knew my surrender would benefit the Serb people and their interests, I would do it immediately.

"But it would be absurd to surrender to those who have killed Serb children and the elderly. And it would be even more stupid to believe that tribunal would be unbiased."

My book will explain many things and it will cast a dark shadow over Slobodan Milosevic - I will never forgive him

Radovan Karadzic
On his autobiography, "Radovan and Serbia", Mr Karadzic predicted it would be a huge success.

"The book will become a bestseller, and I'm sure even be proposed for the Nobel prize," he said.

"My book will explain many things and it will cast a dark shadow over Slobodan Milosevic. I will never forgive him, and neither will the Serb people, for the fact that he set up borders between Serbia and Bosnian Serbs," he said.

Mr Karadzic's literary ambitions date back to well before the war, when he reputedly told friends he was one of the best poets Serbia had produced.

Friends have not been so kind about his literary status. One has described him as "a lazy guy, always dreaming of his greatness" - who was in reality a failed poet and a failed psychiatrist.

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See also:

11 Aug 00 | Europe
Profile: Radovan Karadzic
11 Aug 00 | Europe
$745m damages bill for Karadzic
01 Apr 01 | Europe
Milosevic arrested
03 Apr 01 | Europe
Milosevic the inmate
14 Jan 00 | Europe
Analysis: Big fish still at large
02 Apr 01 | Europe
Timeline: Bosnia-Hercegovina
05 Apr 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Bosnia-Hercegovina
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