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Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 13:33 UK

Karadzic 'aims to defend himself'

Radovan Karadzic in disguise
Mr Karadzic reinvented himself as a devotee of alternative medicine

War crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic plans to conduct his own defence in his trial at The Hague, his lawyer says.

"Karadzic will have a legal team in Serbia that will help him with his defence but he will defend himself," said lawyer Sveta Vujacic.

Mr Karadzic would be following former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who defended himself during his long-running trial at The Hague tribunal.

Mr Karadzic was captured on Monday after more than a decade in hiding.

He is being held in Belgrade pending his extradition to the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Dutch city.

His lawyer says he will appeal against the extradition, but not until just before the deadline to do so, on Friday.

"He has asked for a haircut and a shave," Mr Vujacic told Reuters news agency. "Today I expect to see him with his hair short and no beard."

Try telling any Serb that The Hague is a true international court. It is not and it is illegitimate
Milica Milivojevic
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Mr Karadzic led the formation of a separate Bosnian Serb assembly in 1991 - one of the sparks that ignited the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. He has been indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide over the massacre of up to 8,000 mainly-Muslim Bosniaks at Srebrenica in 1995.

He went into hiding in the years after the war, but was discovered to be posing as a doctor of alternative medicine in Belgrade.

He was arrested on a bus in a suburb of Serbia's capital on Monday.

Serbia has been urged to follow up the arrest of Mr Karadzic by quickly catching his wartime commander, Ratko Mladic.

The US envoy at the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the US rejoiced at Mr Karadzic's arrest and hoped Gen Mladic would soon meet a similar fate.

France said the European Union expected further arrests.

Ratko Mladic in 1995
Ratko Mladic has strong links with the Serbian military

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic told the BBC that Mr Karadzic's arrest showed his country was firmly committed to EU membership.

The arrest of Mr Karadzic and other indicted war criminals is one of the main conditions of Serbian progress towards joining the EU.

A new European-leaning government took office in Serbia earlier this month.

Life on the run

More details have emerged of Mr Karadzic's life on the run practising alternative medicine under the name of Dragan Dabic.

Masquerading as an expert in human quantum energy, the fugitive was so confident in his disguise he even had his own website, and would give out business cards during alternative medicine lectures.

His card gave his name as D D David, D D apparently standing for his pseudonym Dragan Dabic.

THE CHARGES
Eleven counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other atrocities
Charged over shelling Sarajevo during the city's siege, in which some 12,000 civilians died
Allegedly organised the massacre of up to 8,000 Bosniak men and youths in Srebrenica
Targeted Bosniak and Croat political leaders, intellectuals and professionals
Unlawfully deported and transferred civilians because of national or religious identity
Destroyed homes, businesses and sacred sites

Billed as Dabic, Spiritual Explorer, Mr Karadzic gave lectures comparing meditation and silent techniques practised by Orthodox monks. He spoke in Belgrade in May, and also in the town of Smederevo, east of the capital.

The BBC's Nick Thorpe in Belgrade says the city is alive with speculation that the last two men on the tribunal's wanted list - Gen Mladic, and Goran Hadzic, a former Serb politician wanted for "ethnic cleansing" in Croatia - could be arrested next.

Serbian intelligence officers were on the trail of Gen Mladic when they stumbled upon Mr Karadzic, said the office of Serbia's war crimes prosecutor.

But Gen Mladic has strong links with the Serb army and might put up more resistance than Mr Karadzic, our correspondent says.

The Charge d'Affaires at the Serbian embassy in Washington, Vladimir Petrovic, told the BBC Mr Karadzic's arrest showed Serbia was "fully committed to international law and its international obligations".

"Serbia also is fully committed to joining the EU, and I think this is an example of a modern, European Serbia," he added.

The EU Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, said the arrest had moved Serbia closer to EU candidate status and should pave the way for closer trade ties.

Three criteria

Mr Karadzic was questioned by a Serbian judge on Tuesday, who ruled that he should be extradited.

Under Serbia's law on co-operation with war crimes tribunal, three hurdles must be crossed before Mr Karadzic is sent to The Hague.

A magistrate must conclude that all conditions for extradition have been met. Mr Karadzic must be granted a chance to appeal and a special committee of the war crimes court must rule on that appeal. The whole process could take anything from three to nine days.

The UN says the Srebrenica massacre was part of a campaign to "terrorise and demoralise the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population".

He has also been charged over the shelling of Sarajevo, and the use of 284 UN peacekeepers as human shields in May and June 1995.

Mr Karadzic has denied the charges and refused to recognise the legitimacy of the UN tribunal.

He was a close ally of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who was himself extradited to The Hague tribunal in 2001, but died in 2006, shortly before a verdict was due to be delivered.


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