Karadzic, who has been linked to Europe’s worst massacre since World War Two, was transferred Wednesday, July 30, by Serbia amid violent protests in Belgrade.  Under the cover of darkness and blinded windows of a vehicle, special security forces whisked Radovan Karadzic from the detention center at the War Crimes Court in Belgrade to a waiting plane at the capital’s airport.

He was flown to the Netherlands and taken to the detention center of the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal near The Hague.

The secretive operation came as clouds of tear gas had barely disappeared from several areas in Belgrade where thousands of ultranationalists tried to prevent his extradition. Troubles began when a crowd moved away from the Belgrade’s Republican Square in an apparent attempt to reach buildings of the pro-Western government and Karadzic’s detention center.


Fighting soon broke out with police using tear gas and rubber bullets to prevent people of  trying to get to Belgrade’s War Crimes Court. The fighting, in which dozens of people were reportedly injured, came after some 15,000 people gathered at Republican Square to protest against the arrest of Radovan Karadzic and the pro-Western government.

Several speakers urged the crowd, many to remain united in their determination to fight for what they called “a free Serbia.” The Serbian Radical Party’s Secretary-General, Aleksandar Vucic, told the crowd that they must show that Serbia is not dead, although he said the state was “being killed” by the pro-Western President, Boris Tadic.

Some protesters could be heard making death threats to the president, while speakers described him as a traitor. People were urged to praise Radovan Karadzic. Thousands of people, from rambo type bouncers and handicapped war veterans, to girls in mini skirts, enthusiastically shouted the name of the alleged mastermind behind the killings of up to 8,000 Muslims in 1995 in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.


Among the protesters many people could be seen wearing t-shirts with portraits of Karadzic, before he changed his look with a long old white beard to avoid arrest, and his wartime military commander Ratko Mladic, who remains at large.

The 42-year-old Serbian Dragan Nenadovic told BosNewsLife that he and other wear the t-shirt to protest against the Tribunal in The Hague, who he regards as biased. "They are leaders. They were our leaders in the war. I came here to support the rule of law. So, why would they charge Karadzic with something while they don’t want to charge leaders of the Croat, Albanian or Muslim populations?," he wondered.

"Why would they charge him? (Franco) Tudjman was the president of Croats. Half a million Croats were ethnically cleansed from there. He was never charged, so why would Karadzic be charged?"


Dutch Serbian Alexander Savic, a 42-year-old architect who lived in the Netherlands, did not wear a Karadzic t-shirt, but a huge silver chain with a cross with a crucified Jesus. "For me faith is very important," he said.

"Sometimes I think that Serbia has been punished by God for all the bad things we have done in the war. I also realize their is mercy in Jesus Christ, even for us, but that’s sometimes difficult to understand."     

Despite the protests, the recently elected Serbian government has made clear it will continue to search for the last remaining key suspects, including Ratko Mladic. Extraditing suspects is a key condition for Serbia to join the European Union and other Western organizations.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here