Karadzic Set to Face War Crimes TribunalBy VOA News
31 July 2008
A recent photograph of Radovan Karadzic, who was living under false identity in Belgrade before his capture MondayFormer Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will make his first appearance before the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague Thursday, to face charges of genocide.
Karadzic arrived in the Hague Wednesday, a week after Serbian police arrested him in Belgrade after 12 years as a fugitive.
As part of the legal proceeding today, Judge Alphons Orie will give Karadzic the opportunity to enter a plea, but one of Karadzic's lawyers says his client will refuse.
Karadzic will then be given 30 days before a plea must be entered.
He is facing 11 counts of genocide and war crimes for his alleged attempt to ethnically cleanse Muslim and Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war in the 1990s.
The charges include alleged responsibility for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
Karadzic has indicated he will ask to defend himself.
Photographs published today by the Serbian newspaper Blic show a clean-shaven Karadzic, without the long hair and beard he had used to hide from authorities. The pictures were apparently taken Monday, while Karadzic was still being held in Belgrade.
Meanwhile, Karadzic's brother, Luka Karadzic, tells the Russian Izvestia newspaper that the former Bosnian Serb leader expected to be arrested and is well-prepared for the trial. He also says his brother hopes he may be able to benefit from Russian diplomacy.
Chief U.N War Crimes Prosecutor Serge Brammertz has said he will prosecute the case efficiently, drawing on lessons from the trial of Slobodan Milosevic. The former Serbian president died in his cell in the Hague before a war crimes tribunal could reach a verdict.
Brammertz also says Karadzic's arrest proves there is no safe haven for fugitive war crimes suspects.
He expressed hope for the capture of the remaining top fugitives, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic.
While on the run, Karadzic assumed a new identity and practiced alternative medicine.