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Court delays Karadzic genocide trial again

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-02

The trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has been postponed pending a decision on Karadzic's appeal for more time to prepare his defence. Karadzic dismissed as a myth the 1995 Srebrenica massacre he is accused of masterminding.

AFP -  A UN court on Tuesday again postponed the genocide trial of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, after he concluded a two-day statement outlining his defence.
   
"These proceedings will be adjourned until further order," presiding judge O-Gon Kwon said and allowed Karadzic to appeal an earlier tribunal decision.
   
Karadzic boycotted the opening of his trial on 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity last October, demanding more time to prepare his defence which he insists on conducting himself.
   
This caused a four-month delay to March 1 (Monday), and prompted the court to appoint a British lawyer to take over the defence if Karadzic opted to be absent.
   
Karadzic agreed to lift his boycott to outline the crux of his defence in a two-day address to the tribunal that ended Tuesday, but asked for the remainder of the trial to be postponed to June 17.
   
This request was denied by the tribunal last Friday, ruling that the prosecution should call its first witness on Wednesday.
   
But O-Gon said Tuesday that Karadzic should be allowed to appeal that decision.
   
"The issue of the accused's readiness to participate at trial pertains directly to the fairness of the proceedings," he said.
   
"The trial chamber regrets the inconveniences caused to those witnesses who have already travelled to The Hague or are in transit."
   
Arrested on a Belgrade bus in July 2008 after 13 years on the run, Karadzic is charged for his role in the 1992-95 Bosnian war that killed 100,000 people and displaced 2.2 million.
   
 

Date created : 2010-03-02

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