Radovan Karadzic will never surrender to stand trial on war crimes charges and, if arrested, would implicate Western leaders in wrongs committed in Bosnia, his wife said in comments reported Saturday.
Ljiljana Zelen-Karadzic's comments followed increasing speculation that her husband - the No. 1 war crimes suspect in Bosnia - was caving in to Western pressure and negotiating terms of his surrender."He will never willingly surrender and will resist any arrest," she was quoted as telling SRNA, the Bosnian Serb news agency.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that Karadzic wanted assurances he could serve any prison term in an Orthodox Christian country before he would surrender to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.
The newspaper said he was prepared to surrender twice in recent weeks to NATO peacekeepers for extradition, but the transfers fell through at the last minute.
SRNA quoted Zelen-Karadzic as warning foreign powers - a clear reference to the United States and other countries pushing to have Karadzic stand trial - against insisting on her husband's arrest.
If he were forced to testify in front of the tribunal "things would come to light over the role of those governments and their prominent personalities" that would reflect badly on them, she was quoted as telling SRNA. She did not elaborate.
Like other state-run institutions, SRNA is split between Karadzic backers and those supporting the more moderate Bosnian Serb leadership that succeeded him.
The U.N. tribunal has indicted Karadzic on two counts of genocide, including charges that he is responsible for the deaths of thousands of non-Serbs during the 31/2-year Bosnian war that ended in 1995.
Zelen-Karadzic did not divulge her husband's whereabouts.