Status conference on Karadžić case

THE HAGUE -- A brief status conference on the case of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić has been held at the Hague.

Radovan Karadžić (FoNet, archive)
Radovan Karadžić (FoNet, archive)

Hague Tribunal pretrial judge Iain Bonomy has given Karadžić a two-week deadline to respond to the amended indictment where he is charged with genocide over the non-Serb population in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

On several occasions during the status conference, Bonomy asked the former Republic of Srpska (RS) president whether he had anything to say about the deadline, suggesting that it could be extended.

Karadžić said that he did not, repeating that he “wasn’t ready” for the status conference and that he had only received a Serbian translation of the amended indictment yesterday.

"I received the indictment yesterday and there was no time for me to look at it, since I had a visit and a lot of other jobs,” said the accused.

Karadžić filed a motion yesterday for today’s conference to be postponed, claiming that family members were coming to visit him.

The former Bosnian Serb Leader, who is exercising his right to defend himself, repeated his claims that he had “no funds”, that he had appointed only one legal counsel and that he hoped that he would soon have an entire team.

The judge has scheduled the next status conference for January 20, 2009.

In late September, the prosecution filed a motion to amend the indictment against Karadžić, where he is charged with genocide over non-Serbs in Srebrenica and 11 other Bosnia-Herzegovina municipalities. In the indictment, he is also accused of persecution, extermination, murders and other crimes against Muslims and Croats from 1992-1995.

Under the amended indictment, that needs to be confirmed by the Trial Chamber before it comes into force, Karadžić is charged on two counts of genocide. The remaining nine counts of the indictment include persecution, murder, deportation, inhumane acts, terrorizing the population, and illegal attacks on civilians and taking hostages.

Karadžić was arrested in Belgrade on July 21. He refused on two occasions, in late July and late August, to enter a plea on the counts of the indictment.

Bonomy ordered a “not guilty” plea to be entered into record.

Under the original indictment, Karadžić was charged with genocide over non-Serbs in Srebrenica and other Bosnia-Herzegovina municipalities, as well as with crimes against humanity during the 1992-95 war.