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Karadzic again refuses to enter pleas on ICTY war crimes charges

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb leader and war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive] again refused to enter a plea [JURIST report] on Friday to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in a hearing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. The judge presiding over the hearing, Iain Bonomy [ICTY biography] entered a not-guilty plea on Karadzic's behalf. Karadzic, who has repeatedly challenged the ICTY's authority and legitimacy [JURIST reports], also said he planned to challenge the court's jurisdiction at his next hearing, and that the ICTY was no more than an arm of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [official website]. Bonomy was appointed last week after the court announced [JURIST reports] that there would be a new panel of judges assigned to the case. Karadzic had requested the new panel [JURIST report], arguing that presiding Judge Alphons Orie [DPA profile] and other judges initially assigned were biased against him, but the court said its decision was independent of the accusations. AP has more. AFP has additional coverage.

Karadzic, who has been indicted [text] on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, was arrested [JURIST report] in Serbia in July after evading capture for nearly 13 years. Later that month, Serbian authorities transferred [press release] Karadzic to the custody of the ICTY. Karadzic was originally indicted [text] by the ICTY prosecutor in 1995, but had been in hiding under an assumed identity as an alternative medicine practitioner [BBC report] until his arrest. He is accused of involvement in the Srebrenica [JURIST news archive] massacre and other war crimes against Bosnian Muslims and Croats during ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

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