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ICTY to appoint counsel for Karadzic

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] announced [press release] Thursday that former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] will be appointed counsel [decision, PDF] to represent him in the event that he does not appear in court. The ICTY announced the decision in response to Karadzic's boycott of war crimes proceedings [JURIST report] against him. Karadzic was boycotting the proceedings based on his assertion that he has had inadequate time [JURIST report] to prepare his defense. Karadzic appeared [JURIST report] in court earlier this week to renew his plea for more time, but that request was again denied. The ICTY adjourned the trial until March 1 to give the newly-appointed counsel time to prepare.

Karadzic faces 11 counts [indictment, PDF] of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war. The charges arise from crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, including those committed in the Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Karadzic has claimed immunity from proceedings, but the ICTY has rejected [JURIST report] his argument. Karadzic was originally indicted [text, PDF] by the ICTY in 1995 but had been in hiding under an assumed identity until his arrest [JURIST report] in July 2008. Prior ICTY estimates [statement, PDF] have identified Karadzic's trial as the tribunal's last, although ICTY fugitives Ratko Mladic [BBC profile] and Goran Hadzic [PBS profile] have yet to be apprehended [JURIST report].

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