Samir Kuntar, Â a degenerated Pali child murderer, Â is released from Israeli jail and becomes an instant celebrity among Arabs. Not only that: he proudly proclaims he will kill more Jews, as soon as he gets to it… ‘Allah willing’
Samir Kuntar on arrival in Lebanon, complete with Hizbullah uniform and “Heil Hitler” salute (AFP).
* Â So why is it that nobody in the West celebrates the arrest of Dr Karadzic, who is accusedÂ allegedÂ of having killed some 8000 Muhammedans?
Radovan Karadzic was disguised as doctor
Radovan Karadzic, the Serbian war crimes suspect, worked in a medical clinic under a false name and had tried to conceal his identity with a white beard before his arrest, a Serbian minister has revealed.
“Karadzic used false documents with the name Dragan Dabic,” said Rasim Ljajic, the minister in charge of cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
He had been posing as a doctor of alternative medicine, sporting long hair, a beard and glasses to hide his face.
A picture shown to reporters showed an unrecognisable Karadzic, markedly thin, with a long white beard and flowing hair. Serbian officials said he was walking freely around town and earned money from practising medicine.
They said they could not divulge more details because it might jeopardise efforts to arrest two other war crime suspects on the run.
Karadzic was arrested late on Monday night in Belgrade by the Serbian security services, the office of Serb president Boris Tadic said. The 63-year-old former war leader is accused of orchestrating the worst acts of brutality Europe has seen since the Nazi campaigns of the Second World War.
Some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were executed in and around the town of Srebrenica in 1995, while more than 10,000 others died during the Serb siege of Bosnian capital Sarajevo.
Persistent Nato-led attempt to reprimand Karadzic failed after he went into hiding in 1996.
Karadzic will now face charges including genocide, murder, inhumane acts, and other crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Balkan war. During 13 years on the run Karadzic was rumoured to have disguised himself as a monk, shaving off his famous grey locks and donning a cassock to remain at large.
He is also said to have been able to rely on official help and popular support to remain on the run. For years, allegedly shielded by contacts and allies in power in Belgrade, he remained one step ahead of Nato-led raids launched to capture him.
Vladimir Vukcevic, Serbia’s war crimes prosecutor said Karadzic would be transferred to the United Nations tribunal in The Hague once legal obstacles were cleared.
Karadzic “was questioned overnight, his identity was established and he was given the indictment” of the ICTY, Mr Vukcevic said.
“An examining magistrate, I am aware, has already brought a decision that all conditions have been met for his transfer to The Hague.”
Political leaders in Europe and the US congratulated the Serbian government on managing to detain Karadzic after 13 years on the run.
Richard Holbrooke, the US diplomat who brokered the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia in 1995, described his arrest as “a historic day”.
He said: “One of the worst men in the world, the Osama bin Laden of Europe, has finally been captured.
“A major, major thug has been removed from the public scene.”
David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, described his capture as “good news”, saying it would “pave the way for a brighter, European future for Serbia and the region”.
Mr Holbrooke said it was “significant” that the Serbian authorities had succeeded where Nato had failed.
The White House also congratulated the Serbian government on the arrest.
“The timing of the arrest, only days after the commemoration of the massacre of over 7,000 Bosnians committed in Srebrenica, is particularly appropriate, as there is no better tribute to the victims of the war’s atrocities than bringing their perpetrators to justice,” the White House Press Secretary said.
Karadzic was reportedly arrested just after 11pm, after police swarmed the exclusive central Belgrade neighbourhood of Vracar, one of the city’s oldest areas.
Mr Tadic’s office released a statement late on Monday night reading: “Radovan Karadzic was located and arrested tonight … in an action by the Serbian security services”.
“Karadzic was brought to the investigative judge of the War Crimes Court in Belgrade, in accordance with the law on cooperation with the ICTY.”
Mr Miliband said: “This is good news. I am glad that the Serbian authorities have successfully captured Karadzic, who has evaded arrest for over 10 years.
“This arrest will help close the region’s decades of conflict, and pave the way for a brighter, European future for Serbia and the region.”
Paddy Ashdown, the former EU High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, described the arrest as an “extremely important piece of justice for the world at large”.
Lord Ashdown, who was involved for years in the hunt for Karadzic, said: “Karadzic was accused of being the architect of the worst war crimes that have been perpetrated in Europe since the Nazis.
“It will mean a major breakthrough for the Balkans region. It is a major credit to Serbia and at last brings the prospect of justice for Bosnia.”
As Mr Miliband hinted, Karadzic’s capture opens the door for Serbia’s entry to the EU. A statement from the EU presidency, currently held by France, said the arrest was “an important step on the path to the rapprochement of Serbia with the European Union.”
Jose Manuel Barrosa, president of the European Commission, described his arrest as “a very positive development.
“It proves the determination of the new Serbian government to achieve full cooperation with the ICTY. It is also very important for Serbia’s European aspirations,” he said.
Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “We welcome the news that Radovan Karadzic, one of the most notorious indictees from the war in Bosnia has been captured and that he will now face justice in The Hague.
“It is important that the world shows that no war criminal will ever be safe or indefinitely be able to escape.
“Bosnia needs justice and closure and this is an important milestone in this journey. We hope that Radko Mladic will now also be swiftly apprehended.”
The fugitive’s wife, Ljiljana, said from her home in Karadzic’s former stronghold, Pale, near Sarajevo, that her daughter Sonja had called her before midnight.
“As the phone rang, I knew something was wrong. I’m shocked. Confused. At least now, we know he is alive,” Mrs Karadzic said. She would not comment further.
The timing of the arrest suggests a dramatic shift in the level of co-operation between Belgrade authorities and the Hague, coming just weeks after a pro-EU government took power in Serbia.
Nationalist parties in Serbia, who narrowly failed to form a government after elections in May, had vowed not to hunt down or hand over Mr Karadzic, and the Hague’s other “most wanted” Serb General Ratko Mladic.
But the new coalition formed by moderate Serb president Boris Tadic has made joining the European Union its number one priority, and the EU has long demanded the arrest of Karadzic and Mladic.