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Radovan Karadzic appears at Hague hearing

  • Story Highlights
  • Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic appears at the Hague tribunal
  • Hearing discussed an amended indictment on war crimes and genocide charges
    Karadzic complained he hadn't had enough time to review the amended indictment
  • Charges against Karadzic include genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes
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(CNN) -- Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic appeared Tuesday at The Hague for a pre-trial hearing to discuss an amended indictment on war crimes and genocide charges.

Radovan Karadzic has said he will represent himself at the Hague tribunal.

Karadzic faces 11 counts, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, stemming from the 1992-95 war in Bosnia-Herzigovina, when he was president of a breakaway Serb republic.

In late August, Karadzic refused to enter a plea on the charges. The judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia entered pleas of not guilty on his behalf.

Karadzic, who appeared in court Tuesday wearing a dark suit and dark patterned tie, has said he will represent himself. A starting date for the trial has not been set.

The current indictment against Karadzic dates from 2000. Prosecutors proposed an amended indictment last month that they said would narrow and clarify the charges against him and present a more precise case.

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The amended indictment still includes 11 counts against the former Bosnian Serb leader. But two of the counts -- grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and complicity in genocide -- have been removed and replaced with two counts of genocide.

The amended document seeks to tie Karadzic more closely with crimes he allegedly committed with others. It also reduces the number of municipalities involved in the indictment from 41 to 27 to allow the prosecution to present a more "efficient and expeditious" case, according to a court statement.

Karadzic, 63, complained Tuesday that he hadn't been given enough time to review the amended indictment. The judge said he would give Karadzic another 14 days to review it and respond.

Karadzic then said he may face problems because the case is moving so quickly, but Judge Ian Bonomy disagreed.

"I'm astonished at your reference to speed," Bonomy said. "I'm extremely disappointed at the very slow rate at which this trial, this case, is proceeding."

Bonomy said it had been more than three months since Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade, Serbia, which is "not a fast rate of speed for any court to progress."

He scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for January 20.

The tribunal accuses Karadzic of leading a campaign that killed thousands of men, women and children -- mainly Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats who were killed by Serbs as part of a violent effort to rid the region of non-Serbs.

Forces under Karadzic's command rounded up tens of thousands of non-Serbs and held them in camps where Serbian forces tortured, mistreated, sexually assaulted and killed non-Serbs, the indictment says.

The indictment also charges Karadzic with responsibility for a protracted campaign of shelling and sniping of civilian areas of Sarajevo, killing and wounding thousands of civilians, including children and the elderly.

The Bosnian war was Europe's bloodiest conflict since World War II and the longest of the wars spawned by the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

Backed by the government of then-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic », Bosnian Serb forces seized control of more than half the country and launched a campaign against the Muslim and Croat populations that introduced the term "ethnic cleansing" to the world.

Karadzic spent more than a decade on the run before Serbian authorities announced his arrest July 21.


It emerged that he had worked at a clinic in Belgrade as an alternative medicine therapist, using an elaborate disguise of a long white beard, white mustache, and long white hair. Video Watch Karadzic's first court appearance »

Karadzic may face a sentence of life imprisonment if convicted. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia does not impose the death penalty.

All About Radovan KaradzicSlobodan Milosevic

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