July 21 - Prior to his extradition to The Hague, war crimes suspect Goran Hadzic spends time with relatives. Nick Rowlands reports.
The wife, son, and sister of arrested war crimes suspect Goran Hadzic meet his lawyers outside the Special Court building in Belgrade on Thursday, before going in to visit him. They have not seen him for seven years. Hadzic - the last major war crimes suspect at large from the 1990's Yugoslav conflicts - was arrested on Wednesday some 60 kilometres north of the Serbian capital. His lawyer says Hadzic will not be appealing against extradition to The Hague. (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) GORAN HADZIC LAWYER, TOMA FILA: "What you see in my hands, these are the papers on custody and on fulfilling conditions for extradition to The Hague. Goran Hadzic, in writing refused to appeal. As I already told you yesterday there is no point writing stupid appeals." The Deputy Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor said the extradition papers would be sent soon. (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) SERBIAN DEPUTY WAR CRIMES CHIEF PROSECUTOR, BRUNO VEKARIC: "Well here everything has been done, extradition papers will be sent very soon to the Ministry of Justice, where the Minister will sign papers for his extradition. In the meantime family will visit him, they are already in the building and then the story is finished in the Special Court. When he will be extradited depends on a security risk assessment and it will be known just a moment before the extradition." Croatian Serb wartime leader Hadzic was a key figure in the breakaway Krajina Serb republic in Croatia, and has been indicted for crimes against humanity during the 1991-95 Croatian war. Reactions in Belgrade to his arrest were mixed, ranging from indifference to relief to anger. (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) PENSIONER, RADE CVETINOVIC: "Well what I think, he defended his nation, he killed no one. They say, responsibility is individual, crime has a name and family name, I don't believe that he has ordered or killed." (SOUNDBITE) (Serbian) SECURITY OFFICER, MILE BJELOS: "What he deserved, he got it, he should be held responsible if he is guilty, if not, he should be released." The arrest of Hadzic closes what Serbia's president called a "burdensome page" in the country's history, and boosts its hopes of joining the European Union. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.