Radovan Karadžić (Serbian Cyrillic: Радован Караџић, pronounced [râdoʋaːn kâradʒitɕ]; born 19 June 1945) is a Bosnian Serb psychiatrist, poet and former politician who served as the president of Republika Srpska during the Bosnian War, and was later convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Trained as a psychiatrist, he co-founded the Serb Democratic Party in Bosnia and Herzegovina and served as the first president of Republika Srpska from 1992 to 1996. He was a fugitive from 1996 until July 2008, after having been indicted for war crimes by the ICTY. The indictment concluded there were reasonable grounds for believing he committed war crimes, including genocide against Bosniak and Croat civilians during the Bosnian War (1992–1995). While a fugitive, he worked at a private clinic in Belgrade, specializing in alternative medicine and psychology, under an alias.
He was arrested in Belgrade on 21 July 2008 and brought before Belgrade’s War Crimes Court a few days later. Extradited to the Netherlands, he was placed in the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the United Nations Detention Unit of Scheveningen, where he was charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is sometimes referred to by the Western media as the “Butcher of Bosnia”, a sobriquet also applied to former Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) General Ratko Mladić. On 24 March 2016, he was found guilty of the genocide in Srebrenica, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, 10 of the 11 charges in total, and sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment. On 22 July 2016, he filed an appeal against his conviction. The appeal was rejected on 20 March 2019, and the sentence was increased to life imprisonment. In May 2021, it was announced that he would be transferred to a British prison.
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