AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic has asked the United Nations tribunal in The Hague to replace the judges who are overseeing the preparatory stage of his trial for charges including genocide.
In a filing released by the court on Tuesday, Karadzic argued presiding judge Alphons Orie had a “personal interest” in his case because he participated in previous trials and would want the judgments in those cases validated.
Karadzic, arrested in July after 11 years on the run, listed a number of cases, including the conviction of Momcilo Krajisnik, a former member of the Bosnian Serb leadership, to the “draconian sentence” of 27 years in prison.
Karadzic said Orie would be interested in having that sentence “upheld and somehow validated, which could be achieved through, inter alia, partial and biased conduct of the case against me”. Karadzic also wants the other judges of Orie’s chamber replaced.
The former Bosnian Serb leader is before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to face two charges of genocide over the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica, the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two.
He is also charged with the persecution and deportation of thousands of non-Serbs, in a wave of ethnic cleansing, and setting up camps where, according to the indictment, “detainees subsisted in an atmosphere of constant terror.”