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Karadzic says he will attend court hearing in his defense

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Radovan Karadzic orchestrated the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys and his only regret was "that some Muslim men got away," a U.N. prosecutor said Monday at the former Bosnian Serb leader's war crimes trial.

Karadzic again boycotted his own trial at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, but pledged in a letter to judges that he would attend a procedural hearing today on his defense.

Prosecutor Alan Tieger focused on Europe's worst atrocity since World War II as he wound up his opening statement Monday for the tribunal's judges. Tieger called the July 1995 slaying in Srebrenica "one of humanity's dark chapters" and laid the blame squarely at Karadzic's feet.

"The murder of these men and the expulsion of the women, children and elderly did not arise from nowhere," Tieger said. "These crimes were the culmination of the accused's determination to cleanse eastern Bosnia to ensure the Serb state he envisioned."

Karadzic is charged with two counts of genocide and nine other crimes against humanity and war crimes linked to atrocities throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

He has refused to enter pleas, but insists he is innocent.

His boycott of the trial last week frustrated dozens of war survivors who had traveled hundreds of miles by bus to see him face justice after 13 years on the run.

Karadzic, 64, wrote to judges that he would attend today's hearing to help find "a solution which will lead to not only an expeditious trial, but a fair one."

He claims that he did not have enough time to prepare his defense.

Karadzic says he will attend court hearing in his defense 11/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 2, 2009 10:34pm]
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