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Karadzic claims attacks on Bosnian Muslims 'staged'

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] claimed Tuesday that attacks against Bosnian Muslims were "staged," denying any involvement in war crimes. Karadzic was appearing before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] for second consecutive day to continue opening statements in his trial for war crimes allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict. In his statement, Karadzic accused Bosnians of planting corpses and embellishing reports about fatalities [Telegraph report]. Karadzic also called the Srebrenica massacre [JURIST news archives] a farce [Guardian report] promulgated by Bosnian Muslims to incite hatred against Serbian forces. Regarding the 1994 and 1995 bombings of Markale market, Karadzic said the attacks were actually carried out by Bosnians who shelled their own people. The court adjourned after Tuesday's hearing, pending an appeal from Karadzic for more time to prepare his defense.

On Monday, Karadzic began his opening statement [JURIST report] by denying [UPI report] any plan to expel Muslims from Serbia, and by blaming [Telegraph report] Muslims and Western countries for triggering the Bosnian civil war. His trial resumed on Monday after a series appeals by the defense, which have been viewed as a way for Karadzic to delay the legal process [BBC report]. Last month, Karadzic appeared before the ICTY seeking access to documents [JURIST report] he claimed showed evidence of weapons smuggling to Bosnian Muslims. Also last month, the ICTY dismissed Karadzic's appeal [JURIST reports] against the imposition of his court-appointed lawyer. 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. 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. In June, the ICTY said that Karadzic's trial, scheduled to be the tribunal's last, is expected to conclude in early 2012 [JURIST report].

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