Reactive: Karadzic to the Hague

Talk Thursday 31st July, 2008
After more than a decade on the run Radovan Karadzic has finally been caught and is expected to be sent to the Hague where he will face charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, willful killing, persecutions, deportation, inhumane acts, terror against civilians and hostage-taking.

Will a trial strengthen the credibility of the ICTY and other similar tribunals and does the Karadzic arrest send a message to other individuals committing war crimes and acts of genocide? How long might such a trial be expected to last and has the ICTY learnt any lessons from the Milosevic trial regarded by many as a something of a farce?
We examine what motivated the Serbian government to finally go after Karadzic; will others follow him to The Hague? How did Karadzic manage to live as a therapist in Belgrade for so long and who, if anybody, within the Serbian political establishment and other government agencies knew of his whereabouts?
Finally, what does the arrest and impending trial of the so-called “Butcher of Bosnia” mean to his victims and his former supporters? Will a trial finally provide a sense of closure to Bosnian Muslims for all the collective atrocities that they suffered?

Ed Vulliamy is a journalist with the Guardian and Observer and the author of Seasons in Hell: understanding Bosnia’s war. He has reported extensively on the mid-1990s war in Bosnia, denouncing the inhumane conditions in which prisoners were kept in the concentration camps, having visited Omarska camp and Trnopolje camp. 

Kemal Pervanic
is a Bosnian refugeee who arrived in the UK at the beginning of 1993, having survived seven months of brutality, tragedy and hunger in Omarska and Manjaca camps. On his escape to London, he won a place at University and gained a BA in Business Studies. His book, The Killing Days is his own record of an ordinary Bosnian citizen who endured one of the bleakest chapters in the history of Europe. 

Sir Geoffrey Nice QC is one of Britain’s leading barristers and former lead prosecutor in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic. He was recruited to the Office for the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1998 where he led several key cases, including the Tribunal’s first prosecution of a politician – Bosnian Croat Dario Kordic, who was subsequently jailed for 25 years – and the self-styled ‘Serbian Adolf’, Goran Jelisic who he successfully prosecuted. He was knighted in the New Year’s Honours List 2007 for services to the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague.

Gordana Igric began her career as a journalist in Belgrade in 1981. She reported from Bosnia and Kosovo during the wars that followed the dissolution of former Yugoslavia and returned there to research and document war crimes. She is the founder of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and currently serves as the Regional Network Director.

Ben Brown
is a journalist and news presenter for BBC News. He is one of the BBC’s most experienced war correspondents and covered the break up of Yugoslavia extensively, reporting from Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, where his stories helped to secure several awards for the BBC, including a Bafta.