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Karadzic claims documents evidence weapons smuggling to Bosnian Muslims

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] on Monday appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] claiming that documents he seeks from former UN peacekeeper countries would provide evidence of arms smuggling to Bosnian Muslims during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict [PPU backgrounder]. Only Germany, France, and Croatia entered appearances at the hearing to contest [AFP report] the documents' disclosure. Karadzic alleges that peacekeeping countries supplied arms or were involved in the conflict providing support to Bosnian Muslims, prolonging the conflict and causing Bosnian Serbs to act in self-defense. According to an ICTY spokesperson, Monday's hearing was the last pre-trial hearing [DPA report], and the trial is scheduled to resume on March 1.

Last week, the ICTY dismissed Karadzic's appeal against the imposition of a court-appointed lawyer [JURIST reports]. In December, the Trial Chamber rejected Karadzic's motion [JURIST reports] challenging the legitimacy of the court. The ICTY began Karadzic's trial in absentia in October after Karadzic failed to appear [JURIST reports] in court. Karadzic had announced that he planned to boycott [JURIST report] his trial because he had not been given adequate time to prepare a defense. The ICTY has also repeatedly rejected [JURIST report] Karadzic's argument that he should be immune from trial based on an alleged agreement with former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Karadzic faces 11 charges [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder, for war crimes allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict. In June, the ICTY said that Karadzic's trial was expected to conclude in early 2012 [JURIST report]. His trial is planned to be the tribunal's last.

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