(Reuters) – Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic appeared before a U.N. war crimes judge for the first time on Thursday to answer genocide charges after his dramatic arrest that ended 11 years on the run.
Here are some key facts about Karadzic:
* Karadzic was born on June 19, 1945 in a hamlet in the mountains of Montenegro and raised in poverty by parents who despised the communist rule of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. His father was a Serb nationalist fighter wounded by Tito’s partisans at the close of World War Two.
* He became a professional psychiatrist specializing in neurosis and depression and an amateur poet whose works had a fantastical, morbid tinge.
* On the eve of war in 1992, Karadzic warned against plans to declare Bosnia a sovereign state, saying it would perhaps “make the Muslim people disappear, because the Muslims cannot defend themselves if there is war”.
* He was indicted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague in July 1995. Karadzic will face two charges of genocide over the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica, the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two.
* Serbia announced on July 21 that Karadzic had been arrested. Serbian officials said he had been living for several years under an assumed name in Belgrade, posing as Dragan Dabic, an alternative healer. Since his arrest, he has shorn the flowing beard and long hair that helped disguise him in the years following the war. He was flown to the Netherlands on Wednesday morning.
* He had been on the run since 1997, two years after NATO intervention ended the war, when he lost power and went underground.