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Karadzic asks war crimes court to dismiss charges

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case summary, PDF; JURIST news archive] on Monday asked the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] to dismiss the charges against him for lack of evidence. The prosecution finished presenting its case [AP report] last month, and Karadzic is scheduled to begin his own case in November. Karadzic is defending himself in court and has denied all of the charges against him. He faces 11 war crimes charges [indictment, PDF], including counts of genocide and murder, for crimes he allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). He has also been accused of participating in the planning of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], which resulted in the death of more than 7,000 Muslim men. Karadzic claims the prosecution has been unable to produce any proof of his alleged crimes.

Last week, the ICTY judges in Karadic's case went on a five-day visit of locations relevant to his alleged crimes [JURIST report]. The delegates visited Srebrenica and BiH, as well as its surrounding areas. This visit came just months after the ICTY sentenced former president of the municipality of Sokolac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milan Tupajic to two months in prison for refusing to testify against Karadzic [JURIST report]. In February, former Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, Ratko Mladic accused the ICTY of being biased [JURIST report]. In January, the ICTY accepted a plea deal [JURIST report], in the trial of the former case manager for Bosnian war criminal Milan Lukic, convicting her of five counts of contempt for procuring false witness statements. In December, the ICTY convicted former Yugoslav intelligence officer Dragomir Pecanac of contempt [JURIST report] for failing to testify before the tribunal.

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