Karadzic Appears At U.N. War Crimes Hearing

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in court. i i

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic makes an initial appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Thursday in the Netherlands. Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in court.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic makes an initial appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Thursday in the Netherlands.

Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic told a war crimes court in the Netherlands on Thursday that he needed more time to study genocide charges against him before entering a plea.

Under the court rules, he is allowed 30 days to respond to the charges. If he refuses to enter a plea, a plea of "not guilty" will be entered for him.

Karadzic also told the court he would defend himself. "I have an invisible adviser but I have decided to represent myself," he calmly told the presiding judge, Alphons Orie.

Karadzic is charged with 11 counts, including genocide and crimes against humanity for allegedly orchestrating the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, the deadly 44-month siege of Sarajevo and brutal ethnic-cleansing campaigns.

At the hearing in The Hague, Karadzic looked very different from his appearance when he was arrested in Belgrade, Serbia, last week after 13 years on the run. His long white hair and bushy beard — part of his disguise as an alternative healer — had been cut, and he wore a dark suit and tie.

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