The Healer and the War Criminal The Double Life of Radovan Karadzic

By Renate Flottau in Belgrade

Part 2: Needing an Audience the Way Some Need Oxygen


Visitors to events sponsored by the magazine Zdrav Zivot have similar recollections. Dabic spoke to an audience of hundreds of people in Smederovo, 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Belgrade, and an appearance in Kikinda on Jan. 28, 2008 that was even televised. On May 23, 2008, the self-proclaimed "Human Quantum Energy" expert enlightened his listeners in Belgrade in the art of the "use of the body's inherent energy reserves."

Karadzic remained true to himself, in a sense never actually concealing himself from public view. According to Leposav Kron, a psychologist and director of the Belgrade Institute of Criminology, Karadzic could not have acted differently. The extremely outgoing Serb, says Kron, needed an audience the way most people need oxygen. He remained a narcissist, addicted to being perceived, recognized and applauded, just as he was in his days as president of the Bosnian Serbs in their capital, Pale. According to Kron's colleague Tamara Stajner-Popovic, "this powerful urge to make public appearances, even though it could pose a threat to his very existence, is surreal."

It was this narcissism that led him to spend many an evening drinking Slivovitz and playing Serbian folk tunes on the gusla, a traditional string instrument, in his favorite bar in New Belgrade, the Luda Kuca, or the madhouse. Who at the bar could have remembered that it was Karadzic who had once made the gusla a symbol of his pseudo-state, and that he had usually given the instrument to politicians who visited him at his home near Sarajevo?

Amulets, Crucifixes and Advice for all Life's Problems

Mina Minic, on the other hand, says that the man he met who called himself Dabic was a completely different person. Minic is 78, also a Human Quantum Energy practitioner and a member of the Russian Academy of Traditional Medicine. He sits in a tiny office filled with magnets and various fanciful devices. When Karadzic a.k.a. Dabic came to him as a patient "in late 2005," says Minic, he reminded him of an unrefined vagrant. Minic also says that he noticed immediately that the man was at serious risk for suicide, which Dabic confirmed.

Dabic quickly transformed himself into an eager student. "He completed the training in five days and proved to be a genius when he completed the examination," says Minic, who made him his assistant and sent him around the country as his representative. Karadzic/Dabic even lived with Minic for some months. "Sometimes I suspected that he was an American or a Croatian spy, and I advised him not to show his face in public places as often."

Later, Karadzic rented Apartment No. 19 at Yury Gagarin Street 267 in Belgrade for €350 ($542). The name on the doorplate was Maksimovic. Whenever Karadzic, a man being sought by authorities worldwide, felt that he was in danger of being discovered, he moved to one of several appartments and houses he had at his disposal. He is believed to have moved four times in the final month leading up to his capture.

He supported himself by selling patented magnets to treat pain, and with the proceeds from an online shop on his official website, says his attorney Svetozar Vujacic. On the Web site, Dr. Dabic sold amulets and crucifixes, as well as advice for all possible situations in life, from sexual problems to depression. His motto was that there is always a solution.

But the sale of Human Quantum Energy paraphernalia could hardly have sufficed to support Karadzic's new life. Companies that had remained loyal to him, the Orthodox Church, members of the intelligence community and of the party of former Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica must have helped him. It is also possible that he took steps to help himself early on. According to Milorad Dodik, the current prime minister of Republika Srpska, Karadzic carried sacks of bank notes worth 36 million German marks out of the national bank in the Bosnian Serb city of Banja Luka in 1997.

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