Karadzic will Appear at Hague war crimes Tribunal on Thursday

Karadzic to Appear at Tribunal on Thursday

30 July 2008 The Hague _ The initial appearance of Radovan Karadzic before The Hague war crimes tribunal has been scheduled to take place on Thursday at 1600 CEST (1400 GMT).

The former Bosnian Serb leader will appear in Courtroom I before Judge Alphons Orie.

This will be the first time Karadzic will be seen before the world’s cameras since his arrest last week.

Serbian authorities extradited Karadzic to The Hague war crimes tribunal in a pre-dawn operation on Wednesday.

The Serbian government issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the Justice Ministry allowed Karadzic's handover to the Netherlands-based court, just hours after a small group of hardliners rioted in downtown Belgrade against his arrest. Up to 80 people were injured. Read more: http://balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/12156/

Karadzic was flown to Rotterdam in a Serbian government jet, from where he was transferred by helicopter to the United Nations war crimes tribunal’s detention centre at The Hague.

The former Bosnian Serb leader spent some 13 years in hiding before the Serbian intelligence agency picked him up in Belgrade, where he was hiding as health guru Dragan Dabic, with a long beard and a humble appearance.

Karadzic is accused of the 1995 genocide of up to 8,000 Bosniak (also known as Bosnian Muslim) men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica and the three year-long siege of Sarajevo, which resulted with 11,000 deaths.

Under normal procedure, Karadzic will be read his rights, fingerprinted and photographed, and then undergo a medical examination.

He will be asked to enter a plea to each of the 11 charges he faces, including genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide.

He may postpone his plea by up to 30 days.

The 63-year-old had attempted to challenge the legality of his transfer.

An appeal, sent by post on Friday, had still not been received by the Serbian court on Tuesday, prompting Serbia's Justice Minister to issue the final extradition order.

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