Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader arrested last month after 13 years on the run, is to be asked today to enter his pleas to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.
The U.N. tribunal for the former Yugoslavia entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for war crimes and genocide charges on Friday after he refused to plead.
At his second plea hearing before his trial for charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, Karadzic refused to enter pleas for all of the 11 charges against him in front of presiding judge Iain Bonomy.
"I will not plead in line with my standpoint as regards to this court," Karadzic answered to the first charge of genocide, referring to his challenge to the court's legitimacy.
After Bonomy asked whether his position applied to all of the charges, Karadzic said: "Absolutely, yes."
"In other words, your plea is one of not guilty to the indictment as a whole," Bonomy declared during the proceeding, which lasted just under half an hour.
Karadzic appeared at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia wearing a dark suit and red tie and began by confirming his intent to represent himself. He said he was assembling a team of "associates" to aid him.
The charges against Karadzic, 63, include two of genocide over the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica.
In a moment of levity, Karadzic asked Bonomy, "May I hold you to your word... that I'm not guilty?"
"We shall see in due course, Mr Karadzic," Bonomy answered.
The trial is expected to start next year after procedural preparations. But as prosecutors intend to amend Karadzic's 11-count indictment there could be further plea hearings, which would delay the start of the trial.
A status conference was scheduled for Sept. 17.
The prosecution team at the pretrial hearing said they planned to file an amended indictment by the end of September.
Bonomy made it clear that any amendments to the indictments should be filed much earlier.
Karadzic repeated his opposition to the court's legitimacy and said that he feared for his life.
In his latest submission, Karadzic called the tribunal a "bastardised judicial system", saying it was biased towards finding him guilty and repeating his allegation that the United States was seeking to liquidate him.
Arrested in July in Belgrade with a flowing beard and long hair that disguised him while he worked as an alternative healer, Karadzic has shaved off the beard and cut his hair.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Ağustos 2008, 11:51