Karadzic Taken to The Hague for Trial

THE HAGUE -- Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was taken to a prison cell in The Hague on Wednesday to face trial at a UN war crimes tribunal on charges of genocide during the 1992-95 Bosnia war.

Karadzic, arrested near Belgrade last week, was flown out of Serbia by plane at night under tight security. Shortly after dawn, he was whisked from the Rotterdam airport to the Scheveningen detention center near The Hague.

He will appear before the tribunal for the first time at on Thursday and will be asked to enter a plea to the charges against him, the court said.

The trial was likely to begin in a few months, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz told reporters at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The only higher ranking official to be brought before the tribunal for crimes during the Balkan wars was Karadzic's former ally, Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who died in 2006 at the detention center months before a verdict was due at his trial.

Karadzic faces 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 II.

His lawyer in Belgrade has said Karadzic, 63, believes that he will be cleared of genocide and will defend himself.

He will receive a medical examination and meet legal officials at the detention center -- standard practice for new detainees -- and will be assigned an en suite cell, identical to that occupied by Milosevic.

On Tuesday, some 10,000 hard-line Serb nationalists, many brought by bus from rural nationalist strongholds, showed their support for Karadzic in Belgrade, chanting his name and holding up giant banners with his picture.