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At War Crimes Trial, Karadzic Claims Serbs Were Protecting Themselves

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At War Crimes Trial, Karadzic Claims Serbs Were Protecting Themselves

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At War Crimes Trial, Karadzic Claims Serbs Were Protecting Themselves

Karadzic in court today. International Criminal Tribunal/AP) hide caption

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International Criminal Tribunal/AP)

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:

At War Crimes Trial, Karadzic Claims Serbs Were Protecting Themselves

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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.