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Karadzic Seeks Acquittal on Genocide at Hague Tribunal

  • VOA News

FILE - Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic appears in the courtroom for his appeals judgement at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia at The Hague.

FILE - Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic appears in the courtroom for his appeals judgement at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia at The Hague.

A lawyer representing former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic told the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia his client was not responsible for and unaware of the July 1995 murder of thousands of Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

Speaking to the Hague-based U.N. court on the second and final day of defense closing arguments, Peter Robinson accused the the prosecution of carrying out a "legal lynching" of an innocent man.

"Not a single witness has testified that Radovan Karadzic planned, ordered or was even informed about the execution of prisoners from Srebrenica. Think about that, and you have to ask yourself why. Maybe one reason is that it simply is not true."

Karadzic is charged with 11 crimes, including genocide, in connection with the ethnic cleansing campaign during the war in Bosnia. In July 1995, Serb forces under General Ratko Mladic’s command killed 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

Also addressing the court Thursday, Karadzic claimed at the time of the massacre Srebrenica's Muslim community sought to take over the Serb section of the city, while the Serbian community had no such designs on the city's Muslim neighborhoods.

Karadzic has admitted only “moral responsibility” for wrongdoing during the war.

Prosecutors are seeking the maximum penalty of life imprisonment if Karadzic is found guilty of genocide and other crimes.

The Bosnian war of 1992-95 claimed more than 100,000 lives and displaced 2.2 million people.

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