Karadzic attends court session in Hague

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MOSCOW. November 4. KAZINFORM. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic attended a court session in The Hague for the first time on Tuesday, telling the judges he needed more time to prepare his defense; Kazinform refers to RIA Novosti.

"I do not want to boycott these proceedings, but I cannot take part in something that has been bad from the start and where my fundamental rights have been violated," Karadzic told the International Criminal Tribunal judges during a special session.

The alleged Bosnian Serb war criminal had boycotted the trial since it started last Monday, arguing he needs at least 10 more months to prepare for the trial.

Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon said the court was unlikely to grant Karadzic more time to prepare, and Prosecutor Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff reiterated that if Karadzic continues his boycott, the court might appoint a defense attorney for him.

Karadzic, accused of war crimes and genocide dating from the 1992-95 Bosnian war, is defending himself at the trial.

Last week, prosecutors urged the three-judge panel not to allow Karadzic to deliberately hold up the trial, arguing that he had 15 months to prepare for the trial and should have been ready for court proceedings to begin.

Karadzic, 64, was arrested last year after he had spent over 12 years in hiding. The crimes he is accused of include the massacre of some 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995. Karadzic insists he is innocent of all charges brought against him; Kazinform cites RIA Novosti. See www.en.rian.ru for full version.

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