Image taken from International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) TV camera, showing Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as he gives his opening statement on Monday, March 1, 2010, at the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. (Associated Press)

Karadzic in court today. (International Criminal Tribunal/AP)

By Mark Memmott

Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader who stands accused of genocide in the 1990s-era killing of thousands of Muslims in the former Yugoslavia, said today at his war crimes trial that he acted in defense of "a small nation ... which for 500 years has had to suffer."

Teri Schultz reports from The Hague that Karadzic's opening statement (he's acting as his own lawyer) is expected to last two days:

The BBC adds that Karadzic, 64, claimed the Serb cause was "just and holy." Among the counts against him: Organizing the massacre of 8,000 men and youths in Srebenica.

"I will defend that nation of ours and their cause that is just and holy. We have a good case. We have good evidence and proof," Karadzic told the court, according to The Guardian.

categories: Crime, Foreign News

10:45 - March 1, 2010