30 Jul 2008

Clashes at rally in Belgrade

10:20 am on 30 July 2008

Clashes have broken out between police and demonstrators in Belgrade at a mass rally in support of captured former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.

Riot police fired tear gas at small groups of protesters following passionate political speeches by right-wing politicians and figures.

An estimated 15,000 people took to the streets on Tuesday in the main rally, organised by Serbia's Radical Party.

Karadzic is expected to be sent to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague to answer charges of genocide in the 1992-95 Bosnia war. He was arrested in Belgrade a week ago after being at large for 13 years.

The rally in Serbia's capital was the first mass demonstration since his arrest.

Rioters threw flares and fireworks at police. A number of protesters and policemen were reported hurt.

Police used rubber bullets and tear gas after around 100 protesters tried to breach a security cordon.

Karadzic faces 11 charges, including genocide and crimes against humanity during the war in Bosnia.

Appeal process

Meanwhile, Serbian judges say they have still not received an appeal from Karadzic's lawyers against his arrest.

A lawyer said he had sent the appeal documents by post from a remote location in Serbia before the Friday deadline in an apparent attempt to delay the process.

The BBC reports the appeal is expected to be rejected.