Karadzic speaking in own defence at the Hague


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02-03-2010 08:23 AM


ABC Canberra 666

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ABC Canberra 666


02-03-2010 08:23 AM



02-03-2010 08:58 AM

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2010-03-02 08:23:18

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BROWN, Rachael, (ABC)


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Karadzic speaking in own defence at the Hague -

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TONY EASTLEY: The Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic has defended the Serb cause during
the Bosnian war as just and holy.

Mr Karadzic presented his own defence opening as his genocide trial resumed in The Hague.

Rachael Brown reports from London

RACHAEL BROWN: The accused war criminal borrowed the age-old adage of playground fights: "he
started it".

Radovan Karadzic, who's charged with the worst genocide in Europe since the Holocaust, says his
people were simply defending themselves against Islamic fundamentalists who, he claims, were trying
to take over Bosnia.

COURT OFFICIAL: You are charged with genocide. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?

RADOVAN KARADZIC (translated): I will not plead in line with my standpoint as regards this court.

RACHAEL BROWN: Mr Karadzic refuses to recognise the authority of the court, the International
Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and has boycotted earlier proceedings, arguing he
needs more time and resources to prepare his case.

The two genocide charges relate to his alleged organisation of the massacre of 7,000 Bosnian Muslim
men and boys at Srebrenica, and the siege and shelling of Sarajevo.

Prosecutors say Mr Karadzic wanted to destroy the Muslim and Croat communities in eastern Bosnia to
create an ethnically pure Serbian state.

But in his outline of how his defence case will unfold, Mr Karadzic said the Serbs were defending
themselves against an Islamic conspiracy to seize total control of Bosnia.

RADOVAN KARADZIC (translated): I will defend that nation of ours and their cause which is just and
holy, and in that way I shall be able to defend myself too.

RACHAEL BROWN: Mr Karadzic has shown 1992 documents and video clips to the court, arguing there
were no concentration camps. Instead, he says they were holding centres for non-Serb refugees.

As for the mortar bomb in Sarajevo's main market square that killed 68 people, he says Muslims
faked the whole thing, using the bodies of dead soldiers.

He says there was no proof of a joint criminal enterprise that led to the vicious fighting.

His comments have only deepened the scars of women who lost their husbands and sons in the war.
They were among a small group of protesters outside the court.

WOMAN PROTESTER (translated): Again after 15 years he did not show any remorse for what he did. He
stayed the same war criminal as he was before. With his lies he betrayed his own Serbian people. He
is not a hero anymore. He's a coward.

WOMAN PROTESTER 2 (translated): He is trying to present himself as a victim and Bosnia as an

RACHAEL BROWN: One man, however, from one of Mr Karadzic's former strongholds thinks the trial is
important, not to convict the wartime leader but to expose what really happened.

TRIAL OBSERVER (translated): To kill 7,000 people you need a lot of time and a lot of soldiers. It
would all be seen. I think it would be impossible to carry out what he's accused of doing.

RACHAEL BROWN: This is Rachael Brown in London reporting for AM.