Daughter of Bosnian war criminal Radovan Karadzic complains of 'unhealthy conditions' in English jail

The daughter of Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader serving life for genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1990s Yugoslav wars, has claimed her father is living in unhealthy and “uncivilised” conditions in a British prison. Karadzic, 75, who was convicted in 2016, was transferred from a detention unit in Holland to a UK jail earlier this month following an agreement struck between the UN and the Home Office. But his daughter, Sonja Karadzic-Jovicevic, has complained about the conditions at her father’s new prison after speaking to him on the phone. "As for the physical condition in which he is accommodated, it is unacceptable,” she told SRNA, a news agency based in the Republika Srpska, the Serb enclave of Bosnia. “If we add to that the fact that he is in a building full of carcinogenic asbestos that is banned around the world, it is clear in what condition he will be in.” Ms Karadzic-Jovicevic also claimed that moving her father to the UK was a deliberate act of spite against his family. "My father is in a very uncivilised situation, and as far as his family is concerned, his relocation to the south of England was deliberately made to keep him far away, outside the rules of the United Nations Resolution adopted by the Security Council,” she said. “It will be very difficult for us physically, financially and procedurally, because of visas, and immunisation during the pandemic, and even after that, to ever go there and visit him," she continued. She added that he had been deprived of his books and his computer, and will be “completely removed” from his language and his culture. A spokesman for the Justice Ministry said: "UK prisons meet health and safety standards." Ms Karadzic-Jovicevic, who has a political career in Bosnia, has fought to defend her father’s name despite his brutal role in the wars as the Yugoslavian federation separated in the 1990s. Known as the ‘Butcher of Bosnia’, Karadzic went down in infamy, in particular for ordering the Srebrenica Massacre in July 1995. Some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were rounded up by the Bosnian Serb army in and around the town of Srebrenica and then killed in the worst single massacre in Europe since the end of the Second World War. Karadzic’s lawyers had objected to his client’s transfer to the UK, arguing that his life would be in danger owing to Muslim inmates in British prisons. They also argued that owing to possible threats to Karadzic’s life he would be kept in conditions resembling solitary confinement, but the UN court dismissed the objections. Given his role in the slaughter of Muslims, the experience of another Serb convicted of war crimes may also weigh upon the Karadzic family. In 2010 Radislav Krstic, a former Bosnian-Serb general, was stabbed by three Muslim prisoners while serving a sentence in Wakefield prison, in apparent retaliation for Srebrenica.


Radovan Karadzic, the genocidal ‘Butcher of Bosnia’, to be transferred to British prison

The UK has agreed Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic should be transferred to a British prison to serve the rest of his sentence for his role in the Srebrenica genocide, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. Following the announcement, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK should “take pride” in its role in pursuing justice over Radovan Karadzic’s “heinous crimes”. He said: “Radovan Karadzic is one of the few people to have been found guilty of genocide. “He was responsible for the massacre of men, women and children at the Srebrenica genocide and helped prosecute the siege of Sarajevo with its remorseless attacks on civilians. “We should take pride in the fact that, from UK support to secure his arrest, to the prison cell he now faces, Britain has supported the 30 year pursuit of justice for these heinous crimes.” Karadzic, 75, was convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2016 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The UK was a signatory to the ICTY, a United Nations court of law that dealt with war crimes that took place during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s. The ad hoc court located at the Hague in the Netherlands, the site of the International Criminal Court. Karadzic – who became known as “The Butcher of Bosnia” – was sentenced to life imprisonment and has been jailed in the Hague since. In 2010 the ICTY was superseded by a new body created to deal with the remaining functions of the tribunal. It is the latter body that has asked the UK to accept the transfer of Karadzic, it is understood. A Whitehall source told The Telegraph: “This was the deal at the Hague - they would conduct the trials, but they wouldn’t hold the prisoners. That’s how Charles Taylor [the former Liberian president and convicted war criminal] ended up here as well… It’s not going to be a minimum security prison.” It has also emerged that Mr Raab was a legal adviser in Britain’s embassy in the Hague between 2003 and 2006, and led on legal and war crimes work. He negotiated the 2004 deal on enforcing sentences that is being used to transfer Karadzic to the UK. The Bosnian Serb war criminal is the fifth prisoner to be transferred to the UK under arrangements with the Hague, it is understood. More to follow.