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 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 5 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...