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Serbian nationalists protest over Karadzic ar -

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ELEANOR HALL: Serbia's new Europe-leaning government and many of the country's citizens are
optimistic that the capture of war crimes suspect, Radovan Karadzic, will open the door for Serbia
to join the European Union and come to terms with the horrors of its recent past.

But nationalist supporters of the former war-time leader are furious about the Government's plans
to extradite Karadzic to the UN war crimes court at The Hague and have clashed with police in
Belgrade.

In the decade that he's been on the run, Radovan Karadzic has managed to live under the nose of his
pursuers in Belgrade by growing a long white beard and assuming a new identity as an alternative
medicine practitioner.

From Belgrade, Europe correspondent Rafael Epstein reports.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: In the Serbian capital tonight, there were more clashes with police.

(Sound of rioting)

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: But the majority seem resigned to Serbia's realignment and some even welcome it.

VOX POP (translation): He'll be tried like all Serbs are, only Serbs are tried. He won't be
acquitted like other criminals who were set free.

VOX POP 2 (translation): As far as I'm concerned, it would be better if all the suspects were
extradited, for they are the one putting the brakes on the prosperity of our country.

VOX POP 3 (translation): The European Union, as well as America, should appreciate this gesture.

VOX POP 4 (translation): I think it's good. It's another step towards Serbia and all their citizens
facing the mistakes of the past.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: European leaders and generals used to shake hands with Radovan Karadzic and accept
his assurances as they sent aid convoys away from where they were needed.

Now he's been found in Belgrade. With a long beard and long white hair he's barely recognisable;
but why has he been arrested now?

His victims have long suspected the west allowed him to remain on the run in exchange for stepping
away from power at the time the conflict was brought to an end by the Dayton Accords.

At one of the many smoky cafes in the capital, I met Zoran Vuletic. He's is a member of the
powerful steering committee of the Liberal Democrats, one of the parties in the ruling coalition
here.

He says Europe will not be so quick to reward his country.

ZORAN VULETIC (translation): Everybody is telling us, "Just give Karadzic to Hague Tribunal and you
will step in the European Union", and I think that this was not the purpose of The Hague Tribunal.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Do you think there's going to be any violence because of the arrest, and maybe if
Ratko Mladic is arrested, do you think that might to trouble, maybe even just violent
demonstration?

ZORAN VULETIC (translation): I don't think there would be violence because the state was organising
all the arresting action very well, and when the state don't want to have any violence, we will
have action without violence.

But I don't think so, that even in the case of Ratko Mladic will there be any violence, so I don't
expect any kind of riots.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: I just wonder if you think that it strengthens the Government.

ZORAN VULETIC (translation): This arresting will get some new blood for the Government, but
unfortunately just on a technical level, the real understanding of the war crimes, the state and
the people will not be capable. It is very hard for people to realise that war crimes was done.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: It's long been thought that former spies and soldiers as well as ultra nationalists
and criminals helped him hide.

What's clear is that Radovan Karadzic was being watched by someone, and that someone had access to
footage showing him giving a healthcare lecture.

But the new look was effective. The editor of one magazine he wrote columns for, told the BBC he
never suspected who his contributor really was.

MAGAZINE EDITOR (translation): The person that I got to know was a person that everybody would like
to be their friend. He was a highly cultural man, he was very tolerant, he had a sense of humour,
he was very positive, he was very intellectual. So he was a great person.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Away from the din of that smoky cafe, at least one politician hopes that this is a
proper step forward for his nation.

ZORAN VULETIC (translation): I would like that this as a chance for opening of stories about war,
war criminals, and why they commit crimes and what was the real point, what was going on. But
unfortunately, I think that this is going to lead in the way of closing those stories. I think that
very soon, all these stories will be closed and nobody will take care anymore about it.

ELEANOR HALL: And that's Serbian politician Zoran Vuletic, ending Rafael Epstein's report.