Karadzic to Give Opening Statement at ICTY

Radovan Karadzic will deliver his opening statement today and tomorrow in his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, following which the Prosecution will call its first witnesses.

Karadzic, the former President of Republika Srpska, is indicted for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995, including genocide. He will represent himself during the trial.

However, the Trial Chamber ordered that Richard Harvey, who was earlier appointed by the Chamber as defence counsel, be present in the courtroom during Karadzic’s opening statements. Two members of Karadzic’s defence team will also be in attendance.

Marko Sladojevic said that Karadzic will concentrate on accusations about his participation in four joint criminal enterprises.

The first witness will testify under protective measures using the pseudonym KDZ 263. Following his testimony, Sulejman Crncalo, who previously testified in the Momcilo Krajisnik trial, will be called.

Krajisnik was the Assembly speaker in Republika Srpska during the war. In 2009 he was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, but he recently requested early release after serving more than two-thirds of his sentence.

In the Krajisnik trial Crncalo spoke about his deportation from Pale, the town near Sarajevo that was used as Karadzic’s headquarters during the war.

“Karadzic addressed the people gathered in Pale…In his address Karadzic told the gathered people that the best way to protect Serb homes was to attack Muslim houses,” Crncalo’s statement says.

Crncalo said that before leaving his home he was forced to sign a document stating that he was leaving all of his belongings, including his house and car, to Serb authorities.

After his deportation Crncalo lived in Sarajevo, where his wife was killed in August 1995 during the Markale market massacre, in which 37 people were killed and more than 90 wounded.

The Prosecution will admit into evidence previous testimonies by KDZ 263 and Crncalo, and briefly examine them, after which they are due to be cross-examined by Karadzic.

Last week the accused told the Chamber that he is not ready for cross-examination.

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