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Thread: Karadzic Defends Bosnian Serb 'Holy' Cause at Trial

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    Karadzic Defends Bosnian Serb 'Holy' Cause at Trial

    Former leader Radovan Karadzic has said the Serb cause in the Bosnian war was "just and holy" as he began his defence at his genocide trial at The Hague.

    Radovan Karadzic: ''I will defend that nation of ours and their cause''

    Mr Karadzic, who led the Bosnian Serbs during the war in the 1990s, said there was a core group of Muslims in Bosnia - then and now - who wanted 100% power.

    He said the Serbs acted in self-defence after their peace plans were rejected.

    He insists he is innocent of all 11 charges from the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including genocide and war crimes.

    The trial had been adjourned since November and the judge rejected a new request for a further postponement.

    'Mere mortal'

    Mr Karadzic, 64, suspended his boycott and appeared in court along with his lawyer on Monday as the trial resumed.

    "I will defend that nation of ours and their cause that is just and holy," Mr Karadzic said in translated comments at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

    "I stand here before you not to defend the mere mortal that I am, but to defend the greatness of a small nation in Bosnia-Hercegovina, which for 500 years has had to suffer," he told the court. "We have a good case. We have good evidence and proof."

    After his initial remarks, Mr Karadzic began laying out a detailed account of the events that led up to the outbreak of the war.

    The wartime leader is trying to show that there was no joint criminal enterprise - no plan or plot - to carry out the genocide or "ethnic cleansing", but that Serbs were only defending themselves from perceived Muslim aggression, says the BBC's Dominic Hughes at the trial.

    "Their conduct gave rise to our conduct, and that is 100% true," Mr Karadzic told the court.

    'War trick'

    He pointed to one defining event of the 44-month siege of Sarajevo - the 1994 attack on a market in which nearly 70 people died - saying it was a stage-managed "trick" for which Serbian forces were falsely blamed.

    Mr Karadzic showed the court pictures of an empty marketplace, claiming it was the scene shortly before, as he put it, hundreds appeared and the attack was reported.

    He is expected to present a two-day opening statement before prosecutors present their first witness on Wednesday.

    The trial has drawn strong reactions from survivors of the Sarajevo siege.

    "I don't believe The Hague can punish him enough. They should send him back to us here in Sarajevo so we can hang him here in the middle of the city," Muhamed Dizdar, a merchant in Markale market told the AP news agency.

    Bloody campaign

    Mr Karadzic faces two charges of genocide - including the killing in Srebrenica of more than 7,000 men and boys - as well as nine other counts including murder, extermination, persecution and forced deportation.

    Prosecutors say he orchestrated a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" against Muslims and Croats in eastern Bosnia to create an ethnically pure Serbian state.

    In his opening statement last October, prosecutor Alan Tieger said Mr Karadzic "harnessed the forces of nationalism, hatred and fear to pursue his vision of an ethnically segregated Bosnia".

    Mr Karadzic had boycotted the proceedings, insisting on more time to prepare his case.

    In November, the court appointed British lawyer Richard Harvey to take over the defence if he continued his boycott.

    Mr Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade in 2008 after nearly 13 years on the run.

    During his time in power, he was president of the self-styled Bosnian Serb Republic and commander of its army during the Bosnian conflict which left more than 100,000 people dead.

    He is the most significant figure to face justice at this tribunal since the former Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, who died of a heart attack in 2006 before his own trial was concluded.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8542297.stm

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    These days war is a war crime. I think he should be freed, he is a patriot that defended his part of europe from muslim scum.

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    Bosnian war leader arrested in UK

    A former member of Bosnia's wartime presidency has been held at Heathrow Airport over alleged war crimes.

    Ejup Ganic, 63, was arrested in London after Serbia issued an extradition warrant, the Metropolitan Police said.

    He and 18 other officials are accused of conspiracy to murder 40 soldiers, in breach of the Geneva Convention.

    Mr Ganic was later remanded in custody at Westminster Magistrates Court, where he is expected to remain until another court hearing on 29 March.

    'Deep wounds'

    The provisional extradition warrant relates to an attack on Yugoslav forces in Sarajevo at the beginning of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

    Serbia claims more than 40 soldiers were killed in the so-called Dobrovoljacka Street attack, after Bosnia had declared independence from the Serb-led former Yugoslavia.

    The soldiers were allegedly withdrawing from Sarajevo in a convoy at the time.

    Mr Ganic, a professor at the University of Sarajevo, is one of 19 people for whom arrest warrants were issued in November and sent to Interpol.

    Belgrade said it wanted to try Mr Ganic and other former Bosnian officials "in respect of conspiracy and the killing of wounded soldiers".

    The Foreign Office confirmed the arrest, but said it was "inappropriate" to comment further as the case was now before the courts.

    Serbia now has 45 days to provide full papers to the court supporting its extradition request.

    The former leader served two separate terms as president of the Muslim-Croat Federation in Bosnia.

    BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendal says the scars from the Bosnian conflict are still being felt 15 years on.

    There is still a feeling in the different communities that they want to tell their stories, our correspondent says, and that the process of recognising that different people were victims has not ended.

    Even though Europe had hoped this part of the world would enter a more stable relationship with itself and move towards joining the European community, there are still very deep wounds that have not healed, she adds.
    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...ws/8544374.stm

    Published: 2010/03/01 21:06:52 GMT

    © BBC MMX

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    These days, war is a war crime.

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    Post Ex-Bosnian Leader Back in UK Jail

    Former Bosnian president Ejup Ganic will remain in jail in London while his application for bail is considered.

    Mr Ganic, 63, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Monday at the request of Serbia, where he is wanted on war crimes charges.

    But the Bosnian authorities say he should be extradited there instead.

    Thousands of Bosnians protested outside the British and Serbian embassies in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo demanding his release.

    Mr Ganic, a friend of Baroness Thatcher, had his application for bail postponed at the High Court on Friday.

    The judges adjourned a ruling until Thursday to give the Crown Prosecution Service more time to gather material supporting its case that he should be detained pending extradition proceedings.

    Serbia has accused Mr Ganic of murder and involvement in war crimes in 1992.

    'Legal obligations'

    His family and lawyers claim the charges are politically motivated.

    In London, Mr Ganic's son, Emir, and his daughter, Emina, said they had not been allowed to see their father for three days after his arrest.

    "My father was denied access to the ambassador, to us and to his lawyers, and he was denied phone calls from the prison," he said.

    "He had no clue what was going on."

    His daughter added: "We continue to be surprised at the ability of Serbia to have my father arrested and held in prison on a provisional arrest warrant that has no merit."

    The Bosnian government has told the British ambassador in Sarajevo it is not happy with what it described as the inadequate treatment of Mr Ganic.

    The Foreign Office has said his arrest is not a political or diplomatic statement by the UK government, but a case of the judicial authorities following their legal obligations.

    Mr Ganic was arrested while visiting the UK for a degree ceremony at the University of Buckingham, which is partnered with the the University of Sarajevo school of science and technology, where he is president.

    Interpol warrants

    He has travelled freely to Britain several times in recent years, but was arrested under a provisional extradition warrant as he tried to leave the country on Monday.

    The provisional extradition warrant relates to an attack on Yugoslav forces in Sarajevo at the beginning of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

    Serbia claims more than 40 soldiers were killed in the so-called Dobrovoljacka Street attack, after Bosnia had declared independence from the Serb-led former Yugoslavia.

    The soldiers were allegedly withdrawing from Sarajevo in a convoy at the time.

    Mr Ganic is one of 19 people for whom arrest warrants were issued in November and sent to Interpol.

    Serbia has 45 days, from 3 March, to provide full papers to the court supporting its extradition request.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk/8552732.stm
    Love all living things whose humble task is not opposed in any way to yours, to ours: men with simple hearts, honest, without vanity and malice, and all the animals, because they are beautiful, without exception and without exception indifferent to whatever "idea" there may be. Love them, and you will see the eternal in the glance of their eyes of jet, amber, or emerald. Savitri Devi

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