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Karadzic being transferred to The Hague's UN tribunal

Latest update : 2008-07-30

Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic is on his way to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, leaving Belgrade's special court building in a motorcade hours after clashes erupted between his supporters and riot police.

Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic is on his way to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Tanjug news agency reported Tuesday, hours after dozens were injured in clashes between Karadzic supporters and riot police in Belgrade.
   
A motorcade left Serbia's special court building in Belgrade, where the former Bosnian Serb leader was held since his arrest on July 21, around 3:45 am (0145 GMT), the agency said.
   
And Beta news agency also reported that Karadzic was on his way to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Netherlands.
   
The decision on Karadzic's transfer was signed by Justice Minister Snezana Malovic, in accordance with Serbia's law on cooperation with the ICTY, Beta said.
   
The justice ministry could not be reached to confirm the reports.
   
Once he arrives in The Hague, Karadzic is to be tried for some of the bloodiest atrocities in Europe since World War II -- the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre in the early 1990s.
   
Karadzic had been fighting a legal battle against his transfer.
   
B92 television channel earlier quoted Karadzic's lawyer, Svetozar Vujacic, as saying he did not know when Karadzic would be transferred to the Netherlands.
   
Karadzic's appeal against his transfer, apparently sent at the last minute on Friday, had not arrived by the end of Monday, said Ivana Ramic, the spokeswoman for its intended recipients at Serbia's war crimes court.
   
According to the law, a three-judge panel of the court had three days upon receiving the appeal to decide on its merits before the justice ministry would issue a final order for the transfer.
   
Earlier Tuesday, Dusan Ignjatovic, head of the Serbian government office for cooperation with the UN tribunal, expressed doubts about the appeal, which Karadzic's brother Luka has said was sent by regular mail.
   
"I think there is no appeal, because if it had been filed, it would have arrived at the court by now," he was quoted as saying.
   
The wartime Bosnian Serb leader has been indicted for his alleged leading role in the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre of Muslim men and boys.
   
Late Tuesday, stone-throwing hooligans clashed in Belgrade with Serbian riot police who replied with rubber bullets and tear gas after a rally to stop Karadzic's transfer to the UN war crimes court.
   
The violence erupted at the end of the ultra-nationalist protest rally in Belgrade's main square, which drew more than 15,000 hardliners opposed to Karadzic's arrest a week ago.
   
Many people were injured, among them 25 police and 19 civilians, including a Spanish and a Serbian journalist, hospital officials said.

Date created : 2008-07-30

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