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ICTY adjourns Karadzic war crimes trial after failure to appear

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Monday temporarily adjourned proceedings against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] after Karadzic failed to appear for the opening of his war crimes trial. Karadzic announced last week that he planned to boycott [JURIST report] his trial because he had not been given adequate time to prepare a defense. Presiding judge O-Gon Kwon adjourned the first day of the prosecution's opening statements after waiting for Karadzic, who is representing himself, to appear. Kwon said proceedings would resume Tuesday, effectively preparing to try Karadzic in absentia if he fails to appear again. Karadzic's legal adviser told the Associated Press that Karadzic would not attend [AP report] on Tuesday.

Kwon previously denied Karadzic's request for a 10-month delay last month. Earlier this month, Karadzic asked the UN Security Council to grant him immunity from trial after the ICTY appeals chamber rejected [JURIST reports] his argument that he was promised immunity by former US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke in exchange for his resignation. Karadzic faces 11 charges [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder, for war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

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