The Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić was a case before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands, concerning crimes allegedly committed during the Bosnian War by Radovan Karadžić, the former President of Republika Srpska. On 24 March 2016 he was found guilty of 10 of 11 counts of crime including war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, and sentenced to 40 years imprisonment.
Karadžić had been hiding disguised under the alias Dr. Dragan David Dabić (Драган Давид Дабић) offering his services as a doctor of alternative medicine under the company name of “Human Quantum Energy”. He had lived in Jurija Gagarina Street 267 (Blok 45), in New Belgrade for 18 months (he had been in Belgrade for 3 years as “Dabić”,) had a mane of long white hair and a long beard, and used glasses. Using a false ID, and going by the false name Dragan Dabić, he had been practicing at a private medical clinic, specializing in alternative medicine and claiming to be a neuro-psychiatrist.
He was able to walk around freely and appear in public without being identified, he spent his days at the local kafana “Luda kuća” drinking slivovitz, singing folk poetry, and playing Gusle (in front of the pictures of Karadžić and Mladic on the walls of the cafe). The website of Dabić’s company at www.psy-help-energy.com was maintained by Zoran Pavlović of Pavlović Consulting, Belgrade. When interviewed by Belgrade’s Blic newspaper, Pavlović stated that he had frequently met with Dabić, discussing alternative medicine, sports and sometimes politics, without the least suspicion of his true identity. He described Dabić as a friendly and eloquent individual towards whom he had felt sympathetic.
Karadžić evaded capture in May 2007 in Vienna, Austria, where he lived under another alias, Petar Glumac, posing as a Croatian distributor of herbal solutions and ointments. The Austrian police talked to him during a raid regarding an unrelated homicide case in the area where Karadžić lived, but failed to recognize his real identity. He had a Croatian passport under the name Petar Glumac, and claimed to be in Vienna for training. Police did not ask any further questions nor demand to fingerprint him as he appeared calm and readily answered questions. His nephew Dragan Karadžić has claimed in an interview to the Corriere della Sera that Radovan Karadžić had attended football matches of Serie A, and visited Venice under the false identity of Petar Glumac.
Karadžić’s arrest occurred on 21 July 2008 in Belgrade. However, UK’s Channel 4 News reported that Karadžić’s lawyer, Sveta Vujacić, stated “I’m 100 % sure that … Radovan Karadžić was arrested on 18 July at half past nine (in the evening) …” These claims were denied by the president of the National Council for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal Rasim Ljajić. Milan Dilparić, an investigative judge at Serbia’s special war crimes tribunal, terminated the investigation and ruled: “all conditions have been met for his transfer to the Hague to face trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The decision could be appealed within 72 hours to the appeals board, and its decision is final. Karadžić was examined by a doctor, and would remain in a special detention unit of Serbia’s war crimes court pending transfer to the UN tribunal. The Daily Telegraph reported that the former general of the Bosnian Serb army Ratko Mladić gave away the whereabouts of Karadžić in order to avoid prosecution from the Hague. It also reported that Mladić, with the help of his people, was talking about giving himself up.
Karadžić is facing charges on 11 counts for genocide, crimes against humanity and severe breaches of the Geneva Convention for his role in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, especially for the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995. Consolidating two 1995 indictments into one single document, the current indictment against Karadžić (IT-95-5/18) was confirmed on 31 May 2000. Specifically, it includes one count of a grave breach of the Geneva conventions of 1949, three counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, two counts of genocide and five counts of crimes against humanity.
The prosecution started its case on 13 April 2010, and completed it on 25 May 2012. The discovery of more than 300 previously unknown bodies in a mass grave at the Tomašica mine near Prijedor in September 2013 caused a flurry of motions which ended with the court denying reopening prosecutorial evidence. The defence began its case on 16 October 2012 and completed it in March 2014; Karadžić decided not to testify.