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Karadzic to Defend Himself at Hague War Crimes Tribunal

A lawyer for Radovan Karadzic says the former Bosnian Serb leader plans to conduct his own defense when he appears on genocide and war-crimes charges before the United Nations tribunal in The Hague.

The lawyer, Svetozar Vujacic, says a team of legal advisers in Serbia will help Karadzic with his defense, and he adds that Karadzic will appeal this week in an attempt to block his extradition from Serbia to the Netherlands.

Karadzic was arrested Monday in Belgrade. Officials say they tracked down the heavily disguised suspect by trailing people thought to be helping him.

Genocide charges against Karadzic stem from the 1995 massacre of about eight thousand Muslim men and boys near the Bosnian city of Srebrenica. He also charged for the siege of Sarajevo - a blockade in which snipers, shellfire, disease and starvation killed thousands of people in the Bosnian capital.

By opting the conduct his own defense, Karadzic is following the same course as Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president who died in jail in 2006 during his war-crimes trial.

The U.N. tribunal indicted Karadzic in 1995, and authorities say he went underground three years later. Witnesses say he was unrecognizable in a large white beard, thick white hair, and glasses when arrested. His hair was cut and his beard shaved today.

The 63-year-old fugitive, trained as a psychiatrist, apparently lived openly in a suburb of Belgrade suburb, where he practiced a form of alternative medicine under the name Dragan Dabic.

With Karadzic's arrest, the Balkan war-crimes tribunal's top fugitive targets now are Ratko Mladic, who was the Bosnian Serbs' military chief and former Croatian Serb leader Goran Hadzic. Former Bosnian Serb police commander Stojan Zupljanin was arrested last month in Serbia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.