Karadzic son barred from Serbia for fake papers

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BELGRADE, Sep 15 (Reuters) The son of fugitive Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic was released from overnight custody in Serbia today and barred from the country for a year for possession of fake documents.

Aleksandar 'Sasa' Karadzic was detained yesterday for questioning related to the hunt for his father, who is wanted for genocide and has been on the run for a decade.

He was fined about 500 dollar for possessing documents falsely indicating he is a Serbian citizen, Serbia's Minister of Labour Rasim Ljajic told the state news agency Tanjug.

Apprehending Karadzic or his wartime military commander Ratko Mladic would greatly enhance the prospects of Bosnian and Serbian bids to join the European Union, which complains that not enough has been done in the past to capture them.

Ljajic suggested earlier yesterday that tactics would be changed to put more pressure on the Karadzic family. Family members, who live mainly in Bosnia, have been the target of raids by NATO and EU peacekeepers on several occasions in the past few years, with no visible results.

Serbia, on the other hand, has been singled out by Hague war crimes tribunal prosecutor Carla del Ponte for knowingly harbouring Mladic in Belgrade until early 2006. Del Ponte insists he could be handed over if Serbian authorities had the political will.

Far less attention has been paid in recent years to the hunt for Karadzic. According to a book by a former aide to del Ponte, the United States and Russia, for different reasons, have both played a covert hand in assuring that he is not apprehended.

REUTERS GL PM2133

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