Karadzic Lawyers File Extradition Appeal

BELGRADE -- Radovan Karadzic's defense team has filed an appeal to stop Serbia from extraditing the ex-Bosnian Serb leader to the United Nations war crimes tribunal, Karadzic's brother said Sunday.

It was the first confirmation of the filing. Once Serbian judges decide on the appeal -- which they are likely to reject -- the case will be handed over to the Serbian government, which issues the final extradition order.

Luka Karadzic visited his brother in a detention cell Sunday in the company of Karadzic's lawyer. Asked later by reporters whether an appeal has been filed, Luka Karadzic said, "Of course."

Karadzic faces 11 charges at the UN war crimes tribunal, including genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide. He is accused of masterminding the 1995 slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica and the 3 1/2-year siege of Sarajevo, which left 10,000 people dead.

Lawyer Svetozar Vujacic had refused to say where, when or even whether an appeal had been filed, all part of the defense strategy to delay Karadzic's extradition to Netherlands-based court. He predicted that Karadzic won't be extradited before Wednesday or Thursday.

Serbia's new government hopes his arrest will boost the country's bid for European Union membership. Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said Sunday that the arrest proved the government's "determination to respect international law" and "cooperate with The Hague."