Radovan Karadzic - the former Bosnian Serb leader - has denied charges of war crimes against him as he defends himself at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague. He’s accused of ten counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the 1990s. Back in June, judges acquitted Karadzic of one count of genocide because there wasn’t enough evidence proving he tried to force thousands of non-Serbs from Bosnia towns and villages.
Karadzic lead the government during a war which last three years in Bosnia, after the break-up of Yugoslavia. He was indicted in 1995, but the trial against him didn’t start until 2009. Today he’s accused of presiding over the killing of almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 – which was Europe’s worst massacre since World War Two. Prosecutors say he’s also responsible for the siege of Sarajevo between 1992-95, in which 12,000 civilians died and that he ordered UN peacekeepers and aid workers to be kept hostage.
This morning, Karadzic started his lengthy personal statement - set to last around four hours - proclaiming effectively that he never had any prejudices against Muslims, that he always tried to support their progression and that he sought peace agreements, applied humanitarian measures and honoured international law during his time in office.
Written and presented by Marverine Cole.