Karadzic appeal not received by court

BELGRADE, Serbia (CNN) — Court officials in Belgrade have not received an appeal preventing the extradition of former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic.

A photo released by 'Healthy Life' magazine of Karadzic.

A photo released by ‘Healthy Life’ magazine of Karadzic.

Court officials said Monday they had checked on urgent mail at post offices around the country, and had no reason to expect an appeal preventing Karadzic’s extradition to The Hague, where he will answer to war crimes charges before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

He faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina’s secession from Yugoslavia.

Karadzic’s attorney, Svetozar Vujacic, said last week that he was trying to postpone the extradition, and would file an appeal Friday night, the deadline. Vujacic said he would file the appeal from a post office somewhere in Serbia.

But on Monday, Vujacic would not say whether he had filed an appeal.

Karadzic’s brother, Luka Karadzic, told reporters that “of course” an appeal had been filed.

The chief prosecutor told CNN that if no appeal was received Monday, the judge would hand the case over to the government, which will decide on Karadzic’s extradition.

The judge ruled last week that conditions had been met for extradition, but the court had to wait for an appeal by the deadline.

Vujacic said last week that one big reason to postpone the extradition was to give Karadzic’s family in Bosnia a chance to visit him. In January, the high representative in Bosnia seized the travel documents of Karadzic’s wife, son, daughter, and son-in-law, saying they threatened the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Vujacic also said he wanted to postpone the extradition until after a big rally by Karadzic supporters, expected to take place Tuesday.

Karadzic, a one-time psychiatrist and self-styled poet, declared himself president of a Bosnian Serb republic when Bosnia-Herzegovina seceded from Yugoslavia.

Bosnian Serbs, backed by the Serb-dominated Yugoslav military and paramilitary forces, quickly seized control of most of the country and laid siege to Sarajevo, the capital.

During the conflict that followed, the Serb forces launched what they called the “ethnic cleansing” of the territories under their control — the forced displacement and killings of Muslims and Croats.

He was removed from power in 1995, when the Dayton Accords that ended the Bosnian war barred anyone accused of war crimes from holding office.

After more than a decade on the run, he was arrested in Belgrade, capital of Serbia — now a country but which used to be part of Yugoslavia.

He had been living in Belgrade under the name Dragan Dabic and disguised by a heavy white beard and thick glasses, Karadzic was unrecognizable in photos from the clean-shaven figure last seen in public in 1995.

He lived in an apartment in the densely populated area of the capital known as New Belgrade. Neighbors noticed

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