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ICTY sets Karadzic trial date for October 26

[JURIST] The trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] announced [order, PDF] on Wednesday that the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] will begin on October 26. Karadzic will stand trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity after the ICTY Appeals Chamber rejected [JURIST report] his plea for immunity, allegedly promised by former US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke in exchange for Karadzic's resignation. Echoing a similar dismissal [JURIST report] in April, the Appeals Chamber held that even if Karadzic could prove the existence of the agreement, which Holbrooke denies, it would not limit the ICTY's authority. Karadzic's trial was originally set to begin October 19, but was delayed after his appeal was rejected.

In June, the ICTY said that Karadzic's trial would start in late August [JURIST report], estimating that it will conclude in early 2012. His trial is planned to be the tribunal's last. Karadzic has twice refused to enter pleas [JURIST report] to 11 charges against him including genocide, murder, persecution, deportation, and "other inhumane acts," for war crimes allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, including the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Karadzic was originally indicted [indictment text] by the ICTY in 1995 but had been in hiding under an assumed identity until his arrest last year [JURIST report].

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