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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July, 2005, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
Karadzic's wife urges surrender
Ljiljana Karadzic
Loyal Ljiljana Karadzic's appeal comes as a surprise
The wife of fugitive Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has appealed to him to surrender to the United Nations war crimes tribunal.

In an appeal shown on Bosnian Serb TV, Ljiljana Karadzic urged him to do so for the sake of his family.

Earlier this month, Mr Karadzic's son was held for 10 days by Nato troops.

Mr Karadzic and his military commander during the Bosnian civil war, Ratko Mladic, top the UN tribunal's most-wanted list.

The two men are accused of genocide over the killing of about 8,000 Muslim men during the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995.

I find it painful and hard to ask you, but I beg you with all my heart and soul to surrender
Ljiljana Karadzic

"This is a message to my husband, Radovan Karadzic. I have to address you this way, because there is no other way," Mrs Karadzic said.

"Our family is under constant pressure from all sides. We are being threatened in every way, our lives and our property. We are living in a constant atmosphere of concern, pain and suffering.

"That is why, between loyalty to you and loyalty to our children and grandchildren, I had to choose and I have chosen.

"I find it painful and hard to ask you, but I beg you with all my heart and soul to surrender. That will be a sacrifice for us, for our family.

"In the hope that you are alive and that you are free to make the decision yourself, I beg you to make the decision and do it for all our sakes.

"In all my helplessness and my weakness, the only thing that I can do is beg you."

Raids

Ljiljana Karadzic's public appeal for her husband to surrender comes as a surprise, says the BBC's Nick Hawton in Sarajevo.

She has always been a loyal and devoted ally of her husband during his 10-year flight from justice.

Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic
Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic have evaded capture for 10 years

Over the past two years pressure has been put on relatives of Mr Karadzic - although they say they have had no contact with him.

Properties have been raided, bank accounts frozen and travel bans imposed.

Mr Karadzic's son, Aleksandar, was held between 7 July and 17 July on suspicion of giving support to his father.

International peacekeepers have carried out several arrest operations for Mr Karadzic over the last few years, but have had problems getting accurate intelligence of his whereabouts.

The more gradual process of squeezing the family and his supporters is beginning to bear fruit, says our correspondent.

The question is whether Mrs Karadzic's appeal is a ploy to relieve that pressure, or a genuine attempt to finally end the hunt for Europe's most wanted man, he adds.


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