In 1995, the last year of the Bosnian war, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia filed an indictment charging Karadzic.
The following year, he resigned as the president of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska and of the Serb Democratic Party, both of which he was involved in founding before the war broke out.
He then went into hiding and is believed to have spent his first years as a fugitive in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while NATO’s Bosnian stabilisation force SFOR and foreign security services searched for him without success.
Rumours circulated that he was living in monasteries, or that he had gone to ground in Montenegro, Greece, Russia or Belarus.
He crossed over into Serbia at the end of 1999, and allegedly hid in the northern city of Novi Sad before moving to Belgrade. There he adopted the identity of Dragan Dabic, a self-styled spiritual healer, and started to give lectures and work as a consultant for private health companies.
He was eventually arrested on a bus in Belgrade on July 21, 2008 and sent to The Hague to stand trial.
Scores of people were either removed from public office or had their assets frozen by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Office of the High Representative, the country’s international overseer, for helping to hide or finance fugitives from the Hague court, including Karadzic.
The Office of the High Representative said that international restrictions were imposed on around 80 officials and that around 40 companies’ bank accounts were blocked.
The Council of the European Union also compiled a blacklist of dozens of people who were barred from entering EU member states because of suspicions that they helped Karadzic hide.
Former Bosnian justice minister and assistant interior minister Momcilo Mandic was on the blacklist. Mandic currently lives in Serbia and is a member of parliament for the Serbian Radical Party, led by Vojislav Seselj, who was convicted of wartime crimes by the Hague Tribunal.
Mandic was sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in corrupt practices at the Privredna Banka Srpsko Sarajevo, but acquitted of crimes related to assisting Karadzic due to a lack of evidence.
The indictment alleged that a secret fund was established at Privredna Banka to support Karadzic’s legal costs at the Hague Tribunal.
Mandic denied this: “I was sentenced for the bank charges, because they thought that I gave loans to companies which helped Hague fugitives, including Karadzic. No loans were granted for that purpose,” he told BIRN in 2019.
Alleged aides charged with war crimes