They say Harlan Sanders was not really a colonel

So, the continuing education of Radovan Karadžić included a spell at a private school for "bioenergetics" in Belgrade, where he received the title of "general for poisons, gold and minefield injuries" (I am not making this up). It was Mina Minić, the director of the school, who gave him the nickname "David" because, she says, he was very curious and wanted "to see" (da vidi) everything.

I am just posting stuff I read. I am not making it up. What makes you think I could make this up?

Update: Oops, sorry, gender confusion. Apparently Mina Minić is a dude. And here is (perhaps) a photo.

Tracing the paper trail

One way or another, Radovan Karadžić was provided with this identity document:

Which belongs not to him, but to this person:

Or that is at least one of the versions. In another version he assumed the identity of a much younger person who was killed during the siege of Sarajevo.

What is fairly certain is that he did not get the false identity on his own. The answer to the question of how he got it probably depends on when he got it. If it was early on, it could have been as early as 1993 when the younger Dragan Dabić was killed. Then chances are that the documents were provided by Karadžić's fellow criminals in Bosnia. If it was later, and the most frequent guess now seems to be that was in Belgrade from 2005 onward, it would have to have been done by criminals in Serbia. What kind of criminals in Serbia? Follow the paper trail: who issues the documents?

Good things Karadžić has done

Ummm .... made Dutch people feel less guilty?

Your reading suggestion for the day

One more suggestion for reading today: the new and very fine online magazine e-Novine. There you will find Bojan Tončić reviewing the charges against Karadžic, Lidija Franović checking out the fate of zločinac-oriented niche marketing at the Belgrade railway station, Miša Brkić explaining the network that made all that fugitifying possible, and Dejan Kožul arguing that the fascination with Karadžić's freaky life as a charlatan of a different sort draws attention away from the very grave crimes with which he is charged. And that is not all, enjoy a good publication!

Blago cara Radovana

So far we have not had an answer to the question of how Radovan Karadžić supported himself while he was in hiding. He was not paid for his delightful articles in Zdrav život, and there is no evidence that he was ever employed anywhere in the practice of fake medicine. Milorad Dodik thinks he has the answer: he stole 36 million marks from the national bank of the "Republika Srpska" in 2005. Mind you, "some documents exist" is not the sort of argument that any legal institution, or indeed any individual, accepts.

Also, in the trivia department -- Radovan's gentlewoman friend's identity is revealed.


So that we should not forget the historical sources on which Radovan Karadžić drew and which he imitated, Gabriel Partos has today an obituary for Dinko Šakić. Šakić became commander of the Jasenovac concentration camp at a young age, but he continued to live much longer. During that period, he proved his ongoing utility by serving as a temporary receptacle for his own excrement, often for periods of several hours before it would be deposited into a public water system that was paid for and maintained by people he wanted to kill.

Scheveningen: Pa da, OK, važi

Quote of the day, from Vreme. Some web designer dude recalls his discussions on tourism in the cabinet of Dr. Dabić.
Pavlović je za B92 rekao da je razgovarao s Karadžićem i o svom obilasku Sheveningena. "Onda sam mu rekao: ‘Davide, Sheveningen je jedno super mesto, koje morate obavezno da posetite. On je pun hotela, plaža, stvarno jedno predivno mesto na Zemlji.’ On je samo slegnuo ramenima i rekao: ‘Pa, da, OK, važi’", priča Pavlović.
He didn't mention the jazz festival.


This was passed on by a reader in the comments last night (see below) but I was too tired to follow it up. Interesting little bit of speculation / conspiracy theory. Was the source of the information that led to the arrest of Karadžić none other than -- Ratko Mladić?

The way the story goes, Mladić is negotiating the terms of his own surrender, wants to avoid being tried, and passed on what he knew about his former co-conspirator to soemone, possibly the German intelligence agency BND.

It's all very interesting, though the article is short on detail and a bit rambling. According to my sources, Mladić is living under an assumed identity and working as an alternative pedicurist in Kuršumlija.

On the other hand, the more I look at the article, the more it looks like it was planted there, and not by a person skilled in feng shui.


Dabogda te posetio Čavoški

There are only a few new developments on the Karadžić front today: police are beginning to investigate how he was able to get false identity documents issued by, oh, the police in Ruma. Miša Brkić thinks the security services are behind both the hiding in monasteries story and the invention of Dr Dabić. There were protests yesterday and they are expected again today, with not many people -- just a few Obrazovci, but it looks like they do like to throw stuff. And with the goal of increasing his suffering, his cell was visited by his brother Luka, who was taking time off from killing girls while driving around drunk in his Mercedes, and by Kosta Čavoški, who hangs with mass murderers full time so he didn't have to interrupt his schedule.

Photo: Luka Karadžić arrives with his tailor and cosmetician to visit his brother.

Man of many roles

Psychiatrist, poet, politician, killer, practitioner of hand-waving, necklace marketer, fugitive, musician, rider of buses to unknown destinations -- lawyer?

Delovanje Dabića: dubine i dubioze

Some details are beginning to emerge about the life that Radovan Karadžić led under the name of Dragan David Dabić. He did not appear to make a strong impression on his neighbours in Novi Beograd, who if they remember him as well remember him as quiet and polite with a dress sense that was unusual, what Californians might describe as "elegant casual." He got groceries every day in one shop, and seems to have purchased there modestly, but liked to get large quantities of bottled water. Nobody seems to have drawn any connection between the pleasant practitioner of fake medicine and the fugitive who was playing the role.

People with whom he came into contact in the "medical" world also did not suspect anything, except that the editor of Zdrav život never did believe he had a medical degree or profession (but nevertheless appreciated Karadžić's articles on meditation and the like, which do seem to have attracted a readership). A couple of people used his healing services, which seemed to involve waving his hands around people's bodies, which would appear to constitute "classical bioenergy," and the purchase of pendants. Oh, and he seems to have been inseparable from someone called Mila.

There were only a few signs of his old political affiliations and of the ideas that led him a few years earlier to become a perpetrator of genocide. Apparently he frequented a bar where traditional gusle music was played, and liked to listen, sometimes played and sang songs about himself facing a picture of himself with a larger hairdo, and praised his fellow traditional music enthusiasts for preserving folk customs. This is hardly determinative of anything, though -- the overwhelming majority of people who appreciate traditional culture are not criminals at all.

A couple mild indications can also be found in the articles on meditation he wrote for Zdrav život. Again, it is not much: in reflecting on meditation he falls into a digression on the authenticity of cultures and whether they "have not been destroyed or blocked in development." But again, there are many more essentialists out there than there are extremists. Even offering up silly ideas, he gave nobody any reason to suspect who he was.

All in all it sounds as though he succeeded in living the life of a peaceful fellow who did not stand out much in a crowd. Very likely he would have been able to continue doing that if he did not begin to seek publicity for his "treatments." Psychologist Leposava Kron explains this behaviour, which seems to have led to his capture, as representing a need for attention which was unchanged from his previous life.


The David wellbeing program

A few more details are available from B92 about the life of Dr Dragan David Dabić, as Radovan Karadžić called himself for some time. There are memories from the magazine editor mentioned in the previous post, from some people who heard him lecture on meditation in Belgrade and Novi Sad and, erm, someone who had some tea with him once. The minister of health says there is no medical practitioner registered under the name of David or Dragan Dabić. And the Belgrade city transport company says that Dabić never bought a monthly bus pass. This last bit is probably designed to cast doubt on the version of the arrest presented by Karadžić's lawyer, but I think there they are going a bit far. As far as I know, I am the only person who has ever paid to ride on a bus in Belgrade.

The petard department

Having opened up the competition for most vapid article, I really ought to be cautious about posting this. Best to skip it and read the illustrated piece by Richard Byrne instead.

Ceci n'est pas un chapeau

In addition to the existing international charges against him, Serbian prosecutors plan to charge Radovan Karadžić with smuggling endangered forest animals under his hat.

No text to link to, but I just heard an interview on the radio, Tatomir Toroman interviewed the editor of Zdrav život magazine, who published a series of articles on meditation by Dragan (sometimes David) Dabić, and who says that his lectures on meditation were outstanding. The editor had no clue who was hiding behind the assumed name.

Here's a tad more: from Stultitia, scenes from a Dabićin' lecture and the menu for a lovely vegetarian repast.

A jogurt?

And in Sarajevo, BBC's film shows, many people are celebrating. Including one fellow on the back of a motorcycle who looks like he was surprised while bringing his kifla back from the bakery.

Dragan Dabić in the literature

Where did Radovan Karadžić get his pseudonym? From the examination of police officer Dragan Jašović by prosecutor Geoffrey Nice before ICTY, an excerpt:

"Dragan Babic [sic], and Srecko Dogandzic's office, I saw a

25 civilian male Albanian, aged about 20, lying on the blue carpeted floor

Page 40820

Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

English transcripts.

Page 40821

1 without his shoes on. Dragan Babic [sic] was sitting on his legs and

2 remained there when I walked in. Srecko Dogandzic had a baton in his hand

3 and he froze when he saw me, he was standing behind Dragan Babic and it

4 was obvious that he had been beating the young man's bare feet. Dragan

5 Jasovic was in a crouched position at the guy's head with his hands either

6 side of the young man's head, it was if he had let the guy's head go when

7 I entered the room. Radomir Mitic was standing by the desk and he froze

8 when I entered the room.

9 "Jasovic stood up --" Sorry. "Dragan Babic [sic] and Dragan

10 Jasovic stood up. As Babic got up --" Dabic, I beg your pardon. I'm

11 misreading it. "As Dabic got up, he practically stood on the young man's

12 genitals and went over and stood by the wall. Dragan Jasovic was wearing

13 a button down cardigan-type sweater which was open, and as he stood up, he

14 stood on the right-hand side of his sweater, which caused him to slightly

15 lose balance."

16 Now, do you remember an incident with Dragan Dabic, Srecko

17 Dogandzic, and a young man who was being beaten?

18 A. Dragan Dabic and Srecko Dogandzic worked with grand larcenies and

19 theft. That was their area of work.

20 I'm not aware of this case at all. And I never wore a pullover.

21 I always wore a jacket. I am not aware of this case at all. I wore polo

22 shirts or T-shirts in summertime.

The testimony took place in June 2005. We still do not know when Karadžić began using the pseudonym.

Raša Ram Dass

Is this the photo of Karadžić alias Dragan Dabić we have been wondering about? AFP says it is. Would you take this fellow's alternative medicine?

Alternatives to medicine

Says Rasim Ljajić at his press conference, Karadžić was living in Belgrade and dressing like the jazz-folk legend Louis, and practicing "alternative medicine" at a private clinic under the assumed name Dragan Dabić. And Ljajić directly answered the folks looking for hidden meaning (I guess I am one of them) behind the timing of the arrest: "This shows that we do not choose the place or time for the arrest of suspects. There was international pressure to arrest Mladić, hardly anyone expected the arrest of Karadžić, but our operative findings led to the location and arrest of Karadžić." So there you have it.


In younger days...

Then ....

And now ....

Adil Zulfikarpašić

Radovan Karadžić will be all over the news today, but we should not neglect to remember decent people: Adil Zulfikarpašić, at one point a Partisan and official of Tito's first government, later an emigre in Switzerland and one of the founders of the Democratic Alternative, has passed away at the age of 87.

And the competition begins ....

.... for the most vapid article about the arrest of Karadžić. The first entry is from Marcus Tanner, who gets the wife's name wrong and assures us that the whole business is all about Marcus Tanner.



Čovek koji je sve samo što nije i nikad neće ni biti gradonačelnik Beograda kaže da je hapšenje Karadžića "jeziva vest." A frajer poznaje jezive stvari.

Ej, pa sad

If the rumour reported by Blic is correct, Karadžić was arrested in Vračar! Of all places!

Initial observations

The arrest of Karadžić is of course a huge event, leaving just two major suspects (only one of whom is worth the trouble) still to be captured and tried. A few initial observations:
  • It was announced that he was arrested, but not where. This matters in the sense that a lot of people have claimed for a long time either that they know where he is or that someone else does. The BBC report sazs that he was arrested "by Serbian security officers," which would suggest that it happened in Serbia.
  • On the same say that Karadžić was arrested, Dinko Šakić died. Pravo stiže svakom govnu.
  • The Tribunal had better not mess this one up because there are not many chances left.
More on the story as it develops, no doubt.

A couple more details, from B92: it happened in Serbia, and the Interior ministry had no part in it.

Also, we recommend the fantastic Indian place at the bottom of Muswell Hill.

You go out to dinner, things happen. Off to the Hague, Radovane.