Serbs rally for wanted Karadzic
PETNJICA, Yugoslavia -- Hundreds of supporters of Radovan Karadzic, Bosnia's most-wanted war crimes suspect, have staged a demonstration in his home town.
The crowd converged on the remote mountain Yugoslav village of Petnjica, 40 miles northwest of the Montenegrin capital, Pogdorica to hear a succession of pro-Karadzic speeches.
Demonstrators denounced the U.N. war crimes tribunal that is seeking to try Karadzic on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
NATO has been stepping up efforts to apprehend Karadzic ever since Belgrade delivered former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to the international court in the Netherlands last month.
Karadzic has not been seen in public since 1996. The pro-Western government in Montenegro -- the junior partner in the Yugoslav federation -- has denied rumours that Karadzic is hiding in the republic.
They have pldged to arrest him if he enters Montenegro.
Karadzic is accused of genocide against Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica -- the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II.
He is indicted along with Radko Mladic for their roles as political and military leaders during the armed conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and at the time of the Srebrenica killings.
In a five-day orgy of slaughter at Srebrenica in July 1995, 7,500 Muslims were systematically exterminated in what was described at the U.N. war crimes tribunal as “the triumph of evil.”
Karadzic has also been rumoured to be hiding in the mountains of eastern Bosnia and is said to have changed his trademark bushy hairstyle to a shaven head and grown a large beard.
Karadzic supporters waved nationalist Serb banners and carried posters emblazoned with Karadzic's picture and the warning "Don't touch him!"
Simeon Karadzic, the former Bosnian leader's cousin, welcomed protesters as they passed the Orthodox chapel of St. George, where Karadzics have been buried for generations.
He said: "All the evil powers of the world have united against Radovan but he will have the last say. Today he is our leader; tomorrow he will be our saint."
Karadzic's two brothers, Luka and Raco, also joined the rally, as did a score of Serb poets from Montenegro.
Before the Bosnian war, Radovan Karadzic was both a psychiatrist and a poet. Many expressed confidence that he would never be captured or extradited.
"No roads will lead them to Radovan. Every Serb house shall be his hiding place and every true Serb his ally," poet Dragoljub Scekic said.
Another poet and friend, Ranko Jovovic, said the "sword of Satan has been raised against Karadzic and the entire Serb nation."
"We are each a Radovan Karadzic, so don't you touch him," Jovovic warned NATO.
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