27 Oct 2009

War crimes trial to proceed despite Karadzic no-show

8:48 pm on 27 October 2009

The trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, charged with some of the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II, will go ahead without him.

Mr Karadzic did not appear on the first day of the trial at The Hague. His legal adviser, Kevin Jon Heller, said his client needed more time to prepare his case and would not be present when the trial resumed either.

Mr Karadzic has denied 11 war crimes charges arising from the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including one relating to the 43-month siege of Sarajevo, and two genocide charges for the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica.

He was taken to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague last year, after 13 years in hiding.

The start date has already been put back twice, and his request for a further 10-month delay was rejected.

Senior Judge O-Gon Kwon adjourned the court for one day when Mr Karadzic failed to appear, but the judges say the trial will now go ahead.