2 Mar 2010

Karadzic describes 'holy' Serb cause at trial

8:05 am on 2 March 2010

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has said the Serb cause in the Bosnian war was "just and holy", as he began his defence at his genocide trial at the Hague.

Mr Karadzic is conducting his own defence against charges relating to the 1992-95 Bosnian war, at the trial in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

In his opening remarks, he said his main aim is to defend what he described as the greatness of Bosnia Herzegovina.

Mr Karadzic, who led the Bosnian Serbs during the war in the 1990s, said there was a core group of Muslims in Bosnia - then and now - who wanted 100% power.

He said the Serbs acted in self-defence after their peace plans were rejected, the BBC reports.

Mr Karadzic insists he is innocent of all 11 charges, including genocide and war crimes.

The trial had been adjourned since November and the judge rejected a new request for a further postponement.