GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – It has taken four years for the man arrested on a bus in Belgrade in 2008 to stand up in court in The Hague and defend himself against charges of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, but Radovan Karadzic is giving testimony Tuesday 16 October. He faces 10 counts of war crimes, all of which he denies. One charge against him was dismissed in June 2012. His court case at the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) opened in October 2009.
His testimony is expected to cover four hours today, out of the 300 he has been allotted to plead his case. Karadzic has said he will call in 300 witnesses.
He was arrested after an intense manhunt for him that lasted several years, while he hid out in Serbia disguised as a doctor of alternative medicine. He is a train psychiatrist.
Aljazeera reports that “Karadzic, 67, is charged with masterminding the murder of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys by forces loyal to him in the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica in July 1995. The massacre, when Bosnian Serb troops under the command of wartime general Ratko Mladic overran Dutch UN peacekeepers, was the worst atrocity committed on European soil since World War II. Over the space of a few days, thousands were systematically executed and dumped into mass graves in the area.”
Mladic, Karadzic and Karadzic former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic are accused of masterminding the genocide. Milosovic died before his trial ended.