A man of impenetrable disguise, Radovan Karadzic will rise before a warcrimes judge today for the first time. A Serbian newspaper presents his fresh image: smiling, avuncular, clean-shaven – anything but threatening. His recent arrest in Serbia ended 11 years as a fugitive, complete with a runaway beard which allowed him to pass incognito.
After a night spent in a cell at the U.N. war crimes tribunal detention centre in the Hague, Karadzic is due to be taken to the court. The former Bosnian Serb leader’s lawyer in Belgrade has said the 63-year-old believes he will be cleared of charges that he planned and ordered genocide in the 1992-95 Bosnia war.
The prosecution will concentrate on Kardzic’s role in the killing of some 8,000 Muslim men in Srebrenica and on the 43-month seige of Sarajevo by Bosnian Serbs troops. As the Bosnian Serb wartime president, Karadzic became one of the world’s most wanted men. He was finally delivered yesterday to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.