Karadzic boycotts war crime trial at UN tribunal

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic boycotted the war crimes trial against him at a UN court in The Hague on Monday, Dutch media said.The trial started at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) shortly after 9:00 a.m. (8:00 GMT) with Karadzic’s absence.

The presiding judge O-Gon Kwon said, “I note that the accused Mr. Karadzic is not present.”

The former Serb leader said in a submission to the tribunal on Thursday that he was not ready for the trial.

“I hereby inform you that my defence is not ready for my trial that is supposed to begin as scheduled on Oct. 26, and that therefore I shall not appear before you on that date,” Karadzic said in the submission.

Karadzic is charged with 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including persecution, extermination, and deportation during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

The UN court in The Hague was under pressure to conclude the Karadzic trial at an early date given the fact that former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic died in custody.

The tribunal initially meant to finish all trials by 2008 and all appeals by 2010. But it could only conclude its final Karadzic trial in early 2012, while appeals may run till 2013.

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