ICTY resumes Karadzic war crimes trial <i>in absentia</i>

ICTY resumes Karadzic war crimes trial in absentia

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Tuesday resumed proceedings [court schedule] against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive], one day after adjourning [JURIST report] because Karadzic failed to appear for the opening of his war crimes trial. Presiding judge O-gon Kwon [official profile] urged Karadzic to attend the trial, but later announced that the ICTY would try Karadzic in absentia if he failed to appear for the second day. Karadzic's legal adviser had previously said that Karadzic would not attend [AP report] the trial on Tuesday.

Karadzic announced last week that he planned to boycott [JURIST report] his trial because he had not been given adequate time to prepare a defense [text, PDF]. Earlier this month, Karadzic asked the UN Security Council to grant him immunity from trial after the ICTY appeals chamber rejected his argument [JURIST reports] that he was promised immunity by former US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke in exchange for his resignation. Karadzic faces 11 charges [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder, for war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian genocide [PPU backgrounder]. 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.