Defiant Karadzic Demands More Time

In his first appearance at his own war crimes trial, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic demanded more time to prepare his defense, saying he could not join the trial until he had read some 1.3 million pages of court documents. After a week of boycotting, the accused war criminal attended a procedural hearing, where Judge O-Gon Kwon told the defendant that it was in his own interest not to block the trial. Kwon has indicated that he might impose a lawyer to represent Karadzic if the accused remains absent at the trial; Karadzic, in turn, said he will not accept another lawyer, that he wants to represent himself, and that he needs more time to prepare—despite having been indicted in 1995. Karadzic is on trial for two charges of genocide and nine further charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity; prosecutors have accused him of leading a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Bosnians between 1992 and 1995.