Karadzic to boycott war crimes trial opening

The former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has told judges he will boycott the start of his trial for war crimes next week.

Charged with 11 counts, including genocide, over the 1992-95 Bosnian war, Mr Karadzic filed a submission informing the court in The Hague that he would not appear in court for the scheduled opening of his trial on Monday.

"This process is not ready to start, simply because the defence was not granted sufficient time and resources to prepare," he said in a letter to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

The tribunal said yesterday that the trial – one of the biggest it has handled – would go ahead as planned. However, Alexander Knoops, an international criminal law professor at Utrecht University, said the most likely scenario was that the tribunal suspends the case before or on Monday and enters into a compromise with Mr Karadzic, who tried unsuccessfully last week to have the trial delayed for 10 months.