Karadzic refuses to enter plea at UN war crimes tribunal
Saturday 30 August 2008
The Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic made a defiant stand before a UN court yesterday when he refused to enter pleas to genocide charges brought against him following atrocities in the Bosnian war of the 1990s.
Judge Iain Bonomy entered not guilty pleas on Mr Karadzic's behalf on all 11 charges allowing pretrial proceedings to go ahead, despite his rejection of the court's legitimacy.
Mr Karadzic, 63, is charged with genocide, including masterminding the slaughter of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995 and overseeing the deadly siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1996.
He blended measured belligerence with sarcasm at his second appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal, declining to respond to an indictment that accused him of orchestrating Serb atrocities throughout the war. "This court is representing itself falsely as a court of the international community, whereas it is in fact a court of Nato whose aim is to liquidate me," he said.
Bosnian Serbs count Nato as an enemy after the alliance launched a bombing campaign in August 1995, ultimately forcing the Serbs to negotiate an end to the war with the Dayton peace agreement.
Mr Karadzic confirmed he intended to represent himself with a team of advisers, despite Judge Bonomy's warning that the issues ahead would be complex and nuanced. When the Scottish judge said the rules required him to plead not guilty on the defendant's behalf if MrKaradzic refused, Mr Karadzic responded, "I would rather hear you say that at the end of the trial rather than the beginning."
It was Mr Karadzic's first encounter with Judge Bonomy, who also sat on the panel of judges during the latter half of the genocide trial of Slobodan Milosevic. The former Yugoslav president, who was once Mr Karadzic's mentor, died of a heart attack in 2006 before his case concluded.
When the judge formally entered the not guilty pleas, Mr Karadzic said: "May I hold you to your word... that I am not guilty?" The judge replied dryly, "We shall see in due course."
The 25-minute hearing was a crucial step in Mr Karadzic's case. He is accused of masterminding the worst atrocities perpetrated by Serb forces in the Bosnian war, which claimed the lives of 100,000 people.
- 1 The scientist who takes 100 drugs a day so he can live to 150
- 2 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a hands-on role which i...
£65000 - £68000 per annum + Bonus and 26 days holidays: Ashdown Group: Head of...
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This European market leader for security...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...