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Time of the essence in Karadzic case

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Time of the essence in Karadzic case


Friends and relatives of Radovan Karadzic say he is convinced he will be cleared of genocide charges and will conduct his own defence at the international war crimes court in the Hague.

The former Bosnian Serb leader’s legal advisors are appealing against a judge’s decision to extradite him following his arrest in Belgrade on Monday.

His brother believes the Hague tribunal might run out of time ahead of its 2010 deadline before the trial even begins: “By the time he gets to the Hague and makes his plea on the indictment, which he has to consider…it’s well known that the UN decided there’d be no new trials in 2009. The tribunal has to finish its work by 2010. So, all the trials started in 2008, and any appeals, have to be dealt with by 2010,” Luka Karadzic said.

For the moment Karadzic’s advisors are focusing on the appeal against extradition. A spokesman for Serbia’s war crimes prosecutor said: “I assume the appeal will be launched on Friday and after that the judges must make their decision within three days. But they could decide before the third day. He could be extradited at the weekend or early next week,” said Bruno Vekaric.

Karadzic is facing a range of charges relating to attrocities during the Bosnian War at the Hague tribunal.

The court faced criticism over delays to the Slobodan Milosevic trial and it is thought prosecutors will try to simplify the Karadzic case.

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