News / Europe

War Crimes Suspect Karadzic Demands 'Reward' at Trial

Suspected war criminal and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic smiles as he takes his seat on the defense bench in a courtroom to start his defense at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, October 16, 2012. Suspected war criminal and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic smiles as he takes his seat on the defense bench in a courtroom to start his defense at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, October 16, 2012.
x
Suspected war criminal and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic smiles as he takes his seat on the defense bench in a courtroom to start his defense at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, October 16, 2012.
Suspected war criminal and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic smiles as he takes his seat on the defense bench in a courtroom to start his defense at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, October 16, 2012.
Stefan Bos
Former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has denied responsibility for genocide and other war crimes, saying instead he should be rewarded for trying to avoid more bloodshed.

The words of a court official marked the beginning of the long anticipated defense by war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, detained in 2008, after years on the run.

Karadzic began his defense Tuesday at the U.N. tribunal in The Hague.  

Wearing a suit and appearing defiant, he introduced himself as a peace-loving "medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, group analyst and writer," who could never have carried out atrocities during the Bosnian war of the early 1990s.

Though he was also president of the Bosnian Serbs at the time, Karadzic claimed he had been wrongly charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.  

He said that instead of being accused of events in the civil war, he should have been "rewarded," because, in his words, he "did everything within human power to avoid the war."

  • Suspected war criminal and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic smiles as he takes his seat on the defense bench in a courtroom to start his defense at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, Oct. 16, 2012.
  • Radovan Karadzic enters the courtroom on the first day of his defense against war crime charges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague October 16, 2012.
  • Radovan Karadzic, standing at left, talks to Marko Sladojevic, left, a member of his legal team while his legal advisor Peter Robinson, right, prepares ahead of the start of Karadzic's defense.
  • The photo of Radovan Karadzic on the left was taken on October 16, 2012 while the photo on the right was taken during his earlier trial in November of 2009. The contrast in his appearance from three years ago is apparent in this photo.

Karadzic did not appear disturbed by cries of "He is lying!  He is lying!" from some Muslim survivors of the three-year war that left more than 100,000 people dead.

In an extensive statement, he denied involvement in several atrocities, including the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian-Serb forces in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

Karadzic said he heard about what has been described as Europe's worst single atrocity since World War Two, but said he was not able to conclude an investigation because he was forced to step down as president.

He also addressed the siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, by Serb troops.  He said Muslims faked the circumstances of the shelling of a marketplace in February 1994 that killed 68 people and injured 144 others and another similar attack.  

He claimed that for his forces it would have been "impossible to reach that area and cause so much damage."  He said "it was a scandalous orchestration" by Muslim fighters to blame Serbs.  Karadzic called a Russian colonel, Andrej Demurenko, as a witness, to back up his claims that Bosnian-Serb forces could not have fired the shell.

But Karadzic acknowledged Serb snipers were used in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war.  

He said he always found "snipers horrible and inhuman," but "using them was a legal military method to eliminate the enemies."

As Karadzic opened his defense, the tribunal also began a separate trial of its last suspect, Goran Hadzic, who is accused of murder, torture and forcible deportation.  He allegedly oversaw these atrocities while president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina in Croatia.

The U.N. court is under pressure to close in 2014, after paving the way for a permanent war crimes court.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: HUANG from: HONGKONG
October 17, 2012 2:19 AM
How shameful you are to put that peace-loving man on trial! How shanmeful you are to let Khmer Rough leaders escape from their crimes against nearly 3 million Cambodian victims.


by: 10 L.T. from: EU
October 16, 2012 5:21 PM
Serbs have never been recognized for their bravery... ungrateful world... they have stopped the Turk Islamic advance into Europe... they fought the Nazis tooth and nail... they view themselves as one of the Ten Lost tribes of the House of Israel... their bravery tenacity fierce loyalty and leadership is a byword in Europe... let us stand up and recognize their valiant contribution to the security of Europe in their solid opposition to the spread of Islam in Europe.


by: PB from: NJ
October 16, 2012 5:19 PM
Of course he made peace!

What could be more peaceful than a dead body? 100,000 dead bodies!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid