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Identification of Karadzices

14.01.2008 17:41

Dmitry Babich

The Hague has taken unprecedented measures in its efforts to detain the former President of Serb Republic – passports have been taken away from the family members of “brother Radovan”. The wife, daughter and even son-in-law of Karadzic cannot leave Bosnia…

At a press conference in Banya Luka Tamara Marich, Spokesman of Serb Republic Minister of Interior, was short-spoken. Speaking about the events that shocked if not the entire Slavic world then at least its Serbian part, she said that the law enforcement authorities of Serb Republic have taken away regular and traveling passports from the wife of Karadzic Lilyana, his daughter Sonya and son-in-law Branislav. Thus, at the request of the West the Bosnian authorities restricted the freedom of travel for the relatives of a man who is on the wanted list for alleged military crimes. According to Marich, there is nothing extraordinary in this police action: nobody arrested the family of Karadzic and nobody searched in the house of the former head of the unrecognized state. Besides, Lilyana, Sonya and Branislav received temporary papers to freely travel across Bosnia and Herzegovina. And not farer…

…If Sonya Karadzic-Yovovich and her husband made a decision to visit their family estate in Monte Negro, it would be a crime. According to Miroslav Laychak, a top-ranking EC official in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the relatives of “brother Radovan” are prohibited to leave their native state. Both the Hague and Brussels are sure that the Ex-President of Serb Republic until now had regular meetings with the family to get “necessary information and money”. Earlier all efforts of the ICTY and EC to act upon Karadzic though his retinue failed. The international policemen take different steps: they conducted full-scale searches in the houses of his supporters, interrogated his brother and nephews for hours and even bribed officials of Serb Republic who were in contact with Karadzic during the war of 1992-1995. At last, Lyachak himself assisted by the ICTY lawyers proposed this “passport” version of the hunt…

Analysts in Belgrade said that the actions of Banya Luka were incorrect from the very beginning. The Karadzices were not charged therefore restriction of their freedom of travel is the same as illegal house arrest. Moreover, neither the West in general nor international law enforcement agencies in particular explained how long this restraint will last. The Karadzices saw no respective documents, while the Hague seriously speaks that the passports will be returned to their holders only if the first President of Serb Republic will face the ICTY. The Serbian Radical Pparty (SRP) already expressed its intention to send its best counselors to Banya Luka, but Miroslav Laychak admonished the Belgrade nationalists of “any interference into the situation”. "So, for the sake of illusive international justice the West may interfere in the private life of innocent people, while the effort to defend them is an interference into investigation of the truth. Is it possible that the hunt for Karadzic will go even farer?” independent observer Alexander Chaich (Belgrade) asks.

It seems that there is no exact answer to this question. Recently a group of ICTY judges again claimed that the West is entitled to use any means to get Karadzic and other Bosnian Serb leader General Ratko Mladiic in the prisoner’s dock. Nobody can predict what else may be invented in the Hague and Brussels…