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Karadzic Begins Defense in War Crimes Trial

RIA Novosti

13:25 16/10/2012 MOSCOW, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has begun his defense against allegations of war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague.

“I should have been rewarded for all the good things that I’ve done, because I did everything within human power to avoid the war and to reduce the human suffering,” Karadzic said his defense on Tuesday.

He has been given 300 hours for his defense, an equal amount of time as given to the prosecution.

He stands accused of ten counts of crimes including one charge of genocide, murder, inhumane acts, unlawful attack on civilians and hostage-taking during the conflicts that erupted in the Balkans in the 1990s. In September this year, the ICTY rejected his request for a retrial.

The trial started on October 26, 2009 and has suffered repeated delays. Karadzic maintains he is not guilty.

In June this year one genocide charge against him was dropped due to insufficient evidence. The court, however, has refused to dismiss the second genocide charge, which relates to the murders of up to 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.

Initially indicted in 1995, he spent 13 years in hiding in hiding before being arrested in Belgrade in 2008.

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