Relatives of the alleged victims of Radovan Karadzic were there for the opening of his war crimes trial, but the former Bosnian Serb leader himself was not. Proceedings at the UN tribunal in the Hague in the Netherlands were postponed after Karadzic failed to appear. He claimed he had not been given enough time to prepare his defence and refused to attend.
Judge O-Gon Kwon said: “In light of the absence of the accused and of counsel to represent him the chamber will adjourn these proceedings today. However, we will reconvene tomorrow at 2.15pm at which time we will hear the prosecution’s opening statement.”
Karadzic faces 11 war crimes charges arising from the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including genocide at Srebrenica. He has denied all charges. Victims’ relatives are set to maintain their vigil despite the delay.
Karadzic is defending himself. Prosecutors are urging the judge to appoint a defence team to, in their words, prevent him from “disrupting the trial.”