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Ethnic lines drawn as Karadzic trial opens

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Ethnic lines drawn as Karadzic trial opens


Women who lost their menfolk in the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica watched the events unfold in the Dutch capital and aired their frustration at the way that Karadzic appeared to manipulate the court: “ We mothers are not asking for much. We cannot get back what we lost. But the only thing I want is that we can judge him, that we mothers can judge him.”

Another said: “How is it possible that he can say I just don’t want to appear in court. Who is he? He should be taken and put in the chair. That’s how it should be if there were justice.” In a Belgrade cafe called the “ Crazy House” where the fugitive Karadzic used to take coffee, he is considered a hero, the defender of Serbs in Bosnia. This Serb spoke up for Karadzic: “ Why would he appear at the Hague war crimes tribunal, when the trial is not fair, that’s not a tribunal, its against the Serbs and Orthodox Christianity.” In Pale, his former HQ, Serbs rallied round their former leader: “ I’m sure the trial will not be fair, if they wanted a fair trial, they should have given Radovan the indictment much earlier, and given him enough time to prepare his defence. No Serb indicted so far has had a fair trial,” said one. As well as charges of genocide, he is also accused of ordering the 43-month siege of Sarajevo, where as many as 14,000 people are believed to have been killed.

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