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Delta Force chased him, they masked into gorillas, but a brother's mistake gave him away: How was Karadzic hiding, he was arrested as Dr. Dabic


It is speculated that one of the main reasons how Karadzic managed to avoid arrest from 1996 to 2009 is that he made a secret agreement with the former American member of the parliament, Richard Holbrooke

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Radovan Karadzic spent more than a decade on the run after an international arrest warrant. While he was one of the most wanted people in the world, he went to all over Serbia for lectures and seminars as Dr. Dragan Dabic. He was arrested in May 2008.

Karadzic sentenced to life in prison, the initial sentence was increased: Final verdict for the first president of Republika Srpska (VIDEO) (PHOTO)

After two indictments, Karadzic lived in Pale. Although there were 64.000 NATO forces at that moment in the country, there was no political will to risk the peace for the arrest, wrote the British "Guardian" at the time.

Interpol has issued a warrant for Karadzic, and the government of USA offered 5 million dollars for the help in arresting him and Mladic. His mother Jovanka invited him to surrender since their existence and life are threatened, according to her.

It is speculated that one of the main reasons how Karadzic managed to avoid arrest from 1996 to 2009 is that he made a secret agreement with the former American member of the parliament, Richard Holbrooke

Foto: Guliver/Nato/Getty Images

According to these allegations, the United States guaranteed Karadzic immunity from The Hague if he withdrew peacefully and did not obstruct the implementation of the Dayton Agreement (Karadzic was not a member of the joint delegation of SRS and RS in Dayton).

Holbrooke and other officials denied that there are any agreements.

That is a complete lie, spread by Karadzic for years over his followers - said Holbrooke for CNN.

Former Foreign Minister Aleksa Buha claims that the agreement was also reached in writing in 1996 and that a similar agreement was reached with the then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright a year later.

As Bill Clinton approached his second term in 2000, he saw Karadzic's arrest as the pillar of his political legacy. A special unit in the National Security Council was formed to urgently carry out this operation, no matter the cost. 

Foto: Profimedia/AFP

In addition, "Guardian" wrote that the search for "war criminals of the Balkans" contained the greatest use of special units ever - that was done by Delta units, Seals and SAS, and Karadzic was their target number one, as well as for the CIA and MI6. 

- At that moment he was the most wanted man in the world. Lessons learned in hunting him and his colleagues were transferred to Afghanistan, Iraq and the search for Osama bin Laden - said the Guardian.

After questioning people from Karadzic's proximity, it was established that in 1999 he left Bosnia and went to Serbia. As it is stated, he crossed the Drina by boat overnight - Clinton was late.

David Petraeus, future CIA director, was at that time a brigadier general stationed in Sarajevo. He was fascinated by methods used by special forces and insisted to go with them in raids at nights.

- One day, I put him in the helicopter and I dressed hem in a civilian outfit - said Lieutenant Andy Milani Paula Broadwell to a woman who did a biography of Petraeus. The affair with her will later finish his career.

Foto: Wikimedia/U.S. Army

After a trip across the mountains of eastern Bosnia, the helicopter came across the soldiers of the Delta unit.

- We have entered a van with black windows and you could see that he is like a kid in a candy store - writes Milani, reports "Guardian".

Petraeus and his men would suddenly infiltrate the house of Radovan Karadzic's wife Ljiljana in the middle of the night, hoping to find something, or that she would go to him to warn him, wherever he was hiding, to warn him. Ljiljana was followed wherever she was going and she was the first target of the surveillance drones, new US toy that was tried out for the first time in Bosnia. She took them nowhere. 

Hunters on Karadzic used all the tricks they got - they searched the villages on the border of BiH and Montenegro, to find some unusual activity, they searched for satellite antennas on old houses, they watched for adds in newspapers... 

In one of the most bizarre actions, the Delta soldiers lied down under a convoy on the mountain road, while one of them was dressed in a gorilla suit, brought from the USA the day before. 

The idea was to trick Karadzic's guards, known as Preventive, and to slow down the vehicle, just enough for the soldiers to get out of the ambush and to daze the passengers. That operation became the part of the Delta force history, but the central player of the show didn't appear, "Guardian" writes referring to the book "The butcher's trail" by Julian Borger.

And the first, and as it turned out, and last time, the information that led to the action was wrong - either intentionally or accidentally.

The trail became cold in 2005, but then Mina Minic heard that someone is ringing on his door. When he opened a door, he saw a tall man with a thick beard and long hair, tied in a tail.

Foto: Profimedia/Ferrari

- He looked like a priest who did something bad to a nun - said Minic later on.

That was Karadzic, he was trying out a new identity, wrote "Guardian". He presented himself as Dragan Dabic, a therapist who divorced from his wife and just returned from New York.

He lived in Jurij Gagarin Street in New Belgrade, and "local kids called him Santa Claus, a fine man who would always stop and talk to them on the way to the store," the text adds.

Otherwise, one of his neighbors on the floor was a woman who worked for Interpol and whose job was to coordinate the hunt for international refugees such as Karadzic.

He increasingly believed in the reliability of his mask, so he walked freely along the street and began to visit the bar "Crazy house". The mistake of his brother Luka blew away his cover in spring 2008. He called Dabic from his old SIM card which was followed by the people who cased him. The suspicious data was sent to the Security Intelligence Agency. 

Foto: Tanjug/Nemanja Jovanović

One of their people was sent to investigate the recipient of the call from that card. After some time, Karadzic himself knew that he was followed.

His lawyer Sveta Vujacic said that Karadzic began to notice unknown face behind him on the stairs of his building or in "Crazy house".

- He knew that he was surrounded - said Vujacic.

In the book of Julian Borger, the arrest of Radovan Karadzic was written down.

During the night of 18 July 2008, a man known as Dragan Dabic came out of the entrance number 267 in Jurij Gagarin Street. He had a light blue shirt and a straw hat on him. He wore a plastic bag, one bag for the store, and a backpack. It all seemed a lot.

He walked to the nearby bus station, where a man joined him - an agent. They went into the bus, Dabic set forward, and his shadow a couple of seats behind. In one moment, four police officers went on the bus, two in the front, two in the back. They met in the middle, and they asked for tickets.

The old man with straw had searched for the ticket in his pocket, and then a policeman grabbed his hand.

Doctor Karadzic - asked the policeman.

- No, Dragan Dabic - answered the man.

- No, Radovan Karadzic - said the policeman.

- Are your superiors aware of what you are doing - asked the man with the straw hat.

- Yes, completely - he answered.

The media reported that Karadzic was arrested between Kosutnjak to Topcider. And then the news arrived that he was arrested on Vracar, and then on Kosmaj.

There was also information that he was arrested in May 2007 in Vienna, where he lived with Croatian passport under the name Petar Glumac, and that the Austrian police talked to him about the case of a suicide near him, but they didn't recognize him.

According to the first official information, Karadzic was arrested in the bus on line 73 on July 21st, 2008 around 21:00. His lawyer Svetozar Vujacic said that it wasn't true that he was arrested on July 18. 

He offered no resistance, his face was immediately covered up and he could open his eyes when he was in custody in some room in the unknown location. The official statement of the former president Boris Tadic, given on June 22nd.

Right after the arrest in Belgrade, a protest of several thousand people was organized. 40 people were injured during the protests, mostly police officers. The arrest of Karadzic caused a great reaction of home and world media, stating that his arrest is one of the main conditions for the progress of Serbia towards EU.

Karadzic was then taken before the investigating judge of the War Crimes Chamber of the District Court Milan Dilparic, thus starting the process for his transfer to The Hague.

At a press conference on July 22, 2008, President of the National Council for Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal Rasim Ljajic and War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic confirmed Karadzic's identity.

It was determined the ID on the name of Dragan Dabic was issued in Ruma, and that all of the data from the ID are identical, the only thing that is different is the picture.

Dabic participated in several public lectures in Serbia during the years, and he was working as an associate for the paper "Healthy life". Goran Gojic, the editor of the paper, said that he was shocked by the fact that he was publishing texts of a man who was charged for war crimes.

He came and he communicated with me in person and it is interesting that I never even imagined that it could be Radovan Karadzic. We didn't talk about politics, nor anything personal, you know - said Gojic. Karadzic completed Medical school in Sarajevo and the Medical Faculty. He has spent a part of his education in the USA and Denmark.

In the interview for Radio Netherlands in February 2011, he said that Serbia made a profit from his arrest, but it had no real benefit.

When the minister of justice Snezana Malovic signed the decision on extradition, Karadzic was taken out of the building of District court in Belgrade on July 30, 2008, at 3:45, and he was transported to the airport "Nikola Tesla". He was transported to Rotterdam with the plane of the Serbian government, where he arrived around 6:30, and then he was transported to the helicopter to the prison in Scheveningen.

Foto: Tanjug/AP

A day later, he was brought before the Trial Chamber of the Hague Tribunal for the first time, chaired by Judge Alfons Ori of the Netherlands. Karadzic then pleaded not guilty to the indictment.

During his address to the court, the former president of the RS pointed out, as he said, irregularities during the arrest, confirming that he was arrested three days before it was published.

In addition, he said that he intended to surrender in the period from 1996 to 1998, but that he was afraid of his own security after the Holbrooke agreement. He believed he wanted to terminate him, not to judge him.

We recall that the Appeals Chamber of the Mechanism in The Hague sentenced Radovan Karadzic to the life imprisonment for the genocide in Srebrenica and crimes against humanity, violations of the laws and customs of war on Wednesday.

VIDEO: First reaction of Radovan Karadzic after the verdict


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