16/10/2012 06:59 BST | Updated 16/10/2012 07:30 BST

Radovan Karadzic: Has War Crimes Suspect Taken Advantage Of The 'Hague Hilton'? (PICTURES)

With his generous double chin and wide smile, Radovan Karadzic looked more like a portly Dickensian schoolmaster as he sat at his defence hearing, than a military leader accused of masterminding the killings of more than 20,000 people.

Since his capture in 2008, Karadzic has been piling on the pounds in his cell in The Hague's detention unit, dubbed the "Hague Hilton" by critics.

His bloated appearance was a far cry from his look after his arrest on a bus in 2008, where he was photographed in thick glasses and a full white beard. Karadzic's early court appearances saw him clean-shaven, but gaunt and tired.

radovan karadizc

Radovan Karadzic appears to have gained weight during his time at The Hague's detention unit.

But since having one genocide charge dropped against him in June this year, Karadzic seems to have regained his appetite, looking closer to the leader with the swollen waistline seen strolling around with his army in photographs of the bloody era.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the special war crimes unit at The Hague's detention unit not only clearly has irresistibly delicious food, but "has a full daily schedule providing for fresh air, exercise, medical care, occupational therapy, spiritual guidance, conditions suitable for the preparation of defence, IT facilities and training, visiting and recreational and sport activities".

Not good enough for Charles Taylor, the war crimes suspect and former president of Liberia, who complained in court of "draconian" conditions and unappetising "rather Eurocentric" food.

He boycotted his trial for a day after having to sit handcuffed in a vehicle outside the court for several minutes, which he considered to be “disrespectful” to him.

The New York Times described a jovial atmosphere among suspect war criminals, who mill around the communal kitchen "where some former enemies trade recipes and dine on cevapi, or Balkan meatballs."