Radovan Karadzic Refuses to Enter a Plea

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, today refused to enter a plea to charges against him as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) commenced proceedings in the Hague. Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade on July 21, 2008 after thirteen years in hiding. He is facing  eleven counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws of war in Bosnia-Hercegovina between April 1992 and July 1995.

It is alleged that he ordered and/or failed to prevent the;
  • Persecution of Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) and Bosnian Croat civilians
  • Targeting of political leaders, intellectuals and professionals
  • Unlawful deportation and transfer of civilians
  • Unlawful shelling of civilians
  • Unlawful appropriation and plunder of property
  • Destruction of homes and businesses
  • Destruction of places of worship

Karadzic, who is conducting his own defence, is challenging the legitimacy of the ICTY (a United Nations tribunal) and has referred to the court as a

bastardised judicial system [which] is representing itself falsely as a court of the international community, when it is in fact a court of NATO whose aim is to liquidate me.
When asked to enter a plea today, Karadzic responded:
I will not plead.
In accordance with court rules, Judge Iain Bonomy then proceeded to enter a plea of “not guilty” to all eleven charges oh his behalf.
After this declaration Mr Karadzic called out to the judge:
May I hold you to your word?

When the baffled judge inquired as to “which word?”, Karadzic responded

That I’m not guilty !!

The judge replied with a smile, telling Karadzic that time would tell.

The next hearing has been set for Sept. 17.

Radovan Karadzic

Image: http://www.telegraph.co.uk