Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is expected in court in the Hague today charged with 11 counts of genocide and war crimes. But he says he intends to boycott the trial.
In a letter to the UN war crimes tribunal, Karadzic said his defence was ‘not ready’ and that he needed two years to prepare. He is accused of masterminding the Bosnian war atrocities, when an estimated 100,000 people were killed. Relatives and friends are standing by him and see him as a hero. Karadzic’s brother Luka said: “It is normal that he does not appear in the court on Monday, considering the fact that he did not have the conditions to prepare for the case. Bearing in mind that he received over a million pages of material, it is impossible for him to prepare.” Mothers of the victims travelled to the Netherlands ahead of the trial. Bosnian Nura Begovic said: “In July ’95 my whole male family was murdered, both my sons, my husband, my two brothers, my brothers’ sons. I know there is nothing that can bring them back to me, but it will be a big satisfaction if I know that those responsible are punished.” Karadzic has decided to represent himself, despite no legal training which could prolong the trial. His one-time mentor and former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic also defended himself and managed to drag his trial out for four years until he suffered a fatal heart attack.