It was far from the image on the UN’s ‘wanted posters’ but Radovan Karadic’s radically altered appearance of a thick white beard and hair did not save him from capture in the end.
Serb officials published images and video of the former Bosnian Serb leader after his arrest in Belgrade on Monday night. It brings to an end an 11-year manhunt for the war crimes suspect and greatly enhances Serbia’s prospects for joining the EU.
The ex-fugitive had been living under an assumed name and returned to practising medicine. “Radavan Karadic was using false I.D. and false documents under the name of Dragan Dabic. He was working in a private medical practice and was living in New Belgrade,” said one senior official.
Karadzic is being held in Belgrade pending a decision on his extradition to the war crimes tribunal in the Hague to face charges of ordering mass-killings in Bosnia. With Karadzic behind bars Serb authorities say they will intensify their efforts to capture Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serbs’ military leader who is facing similar charges.
Analysts say the formation of a new pro-European leadership, keen to cooperate with international authorities, was the driving force behind these dramatic developments.