[JURIST] Prosecutors called former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile] a liar on Monday during closing remarks at his genocide trial at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Karadzic is charged [ICTY case summary, PDF; JURIST news archive] with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws of war. Karadzic claims he was unaware of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre [JURIST news archives] where more than 7,000 Muslims were killed by Serb forces, and says he is innocent of any wrongdoing. Prosecutor Alan Tieger said Karadzic publicly bragged about this violent ethnic cleansing at the time, promoting an “ethnically pure” Serb state within Bosnia. Karadzic will deliver his closing remarks on Wednesday.
In January former leader of the Bosnian Serb army Ratko Mladic refused to testify [JURIST report] at the Karadzic trial. Karadzic expected Mladic to testify that in their conversations, they never agreed to commit the crimes of which Karadzic is accused, which would negate his mens rea for multiple charges. Mladic refused to answer questions and stated that testifying in Karadzic’s case could prejudice his own case in the future. In October 2012 Karadzic opened his defense [JURIST report] in the ICTY by denying all charges against him. Earlier in 2012 the ICTY denied Karadzic’s request for a new trial after he argued that the prosecution had failed to disclose [JURIST reports] crucial information until after trial. The court reasoned that the delay in disclosing evidence had not infringed on Karadzic’s right to a fair trial. In June 2012 the judges from the ICTY went on a five-day visit [JURIST report] to locations relevant to the indictment of Karadzic. This visit came just months after the ICTY sentenced [JURIST report] former president of the municipality of Sokolac, BiH, Milan Tupajic to two months in prison for refusing to testify against Karadzic.