Radovan Karadzic Ends Boycott on His Genocide and War Crimes Trial

Wearing a dark suit and tie, the wartime political leader of Bosnia's Serbs today ended a previous boycott of his genocide and war crimes trial to open his own defence.

”I stand before you not to defend the mere mortal that I am but to defend the greatness of a small nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina which for 500 years has had to suffer and has demonstrated of modesty and perseverance to survive in freedom,” he told the court in his opening statement, Telegraph reports.

According to Press TV, Karadzic, who faces 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, insisted that he was innocent and that the Serbs were only acting in self-defense against the "Islamist goals" of Muslims.

He accused Bosnian Muslims of waging the war with American support, to create an "Islamic state."

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

He claimed to have "good evidence and proof." Karadzic's charges include the massacre of more than 7,000 Muslims at the UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica in July 1995.

According to Euronews, small but dedicated group of protestors were outside the court in The Hague as proceedings got back under way. They want to avoid the long delays seen in past cases. Munira Subasic, president of the Mothers of Srebrenica movement said:

"We expect from the court that the trial will be as short as possible, that the Milosevic episode won’t be repeated, and that the people of Bosnia Herzegovina can move on with their lives."

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