Monday, October 26, 2009

War Crimes: Karadzic thumbs his nose at Justice

FOCUS Information Agency - The genocide trial of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic opened in his absence before a UN court on Monday as he boycotted the hearing to insist on more time to prepare his case, AFP reports.

"I note that the accused Mr. Karadzic is not present," said presiding judge O-Gon Kwon as the hearing at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was declared open shortly after 9:00 am (0800 GMT).

Karadzic, who will conduct his own defence, informed the court last Wednesday that he would not be present for the start of the trial, claiming he had been denied adequate time to prepare his case.

The judges now have to decide whether to proceed in his absence, have him brought to the court by force, impose a defense lawyer on him or give in to his demand for more time.

Karadzic, 64, faces 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1992-95 Bosnian war in which 100,000 people were killed and some 2.2 million displaced.
He was arrested on a Belgrade bus in July last year after 13 years on the run and risks a life jail sentence. He denies all charges.

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