Global Policy Forum

Timeline: Radovan Karadzic Case

International Center for Transitional Justice
August 25, 2008

Timeline: Radovan Karadžic Case

May 1992: Karadžic is elected president of the three-person presidency of the Republika Srpska, or Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a self-declared union of majority Serbian territories in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Republika Srpska was never recognized by the international community.

Dec. 1992: Karadžic becomes sole president of the Republika Srpska and supreme commander of the armed forces, directing a military campaign to drive Bosnian Muslims from the area.

July 1995: Bosnian Serb forces kill nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and children in and around the Srebrenica enclave.

July 1995: The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague issues its first indictment against Karadžic and his army chief of staff Ratko Mladic on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity related to the Bosnian Serb forces' 44-month siege of Sarajevo from 1992-1995, which led to the deaths of more than 10,000 civilians.

Nov. 1995: ICTY issues a second indictment against Karadžic and Mladic on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity relating to the Srebrenica massacre.

July 1996: ICTY issues an international arrest warrant for Karadžic. Karadžic steps down as president of Republika Srpska, after which he disappears from public view.

May 2000: The ICTY prosecutor files an amended indictment alleging that Karadžic acted either individually or in concert with Momcilo Krajisnik and Biljana Plavsic, the other former members of the three-person presidency of Respublika Srpska. The ICTY had since convicted both Krajisnik and Plavsic of war crimes.

2002 - 2004: NATO-led troops carry out a series of raids in search of Karadžic, but fail to find him.

July 21, 2008: Serbian authorities announce the arrest of Karadžic in Belgrade, 13 years after ICTY issued the original warrant.

July 30, 2008: Karadžic is extradited to the Hague to face trial at the ICTY.

July 31, 2008: Karadžic makes his first appearance before ICTY Judge Alphons Orie and says he will represent himself without the aid of a lawyer, but does not enter a plea.

Aug 1, 2008: Karadžic files his first legal brief to the court, claiming media bias will prevent him from obtaining a fair trial.


The first indictments against Karadžic were filed by Chief Prosecutor Richard Goldstone in 1995, and were then merged to one indictment by Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte in 2000.

More Information on International Justice
More Information on International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia
More Information on International Criminal Tribunals and Special Courts
More Information on Radovan Karadzic
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