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Europe

Karadzic Trial Adjourned Until January

The war crimes trial of former Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on Tuesday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was adjourned until January 20 after a tumultuous hearing session.

Ultra-Nationalists in support of Kradzic

Supporters of Karadzic will continue to protest his innocence well into 2009

The pre-trial hearing saw both the former Serb president and presiding judge Iain Bonomy expressing their respective frustration and anger, both related to the issue of presentation of evidence.

Karadzic complained he had been unable to prepare himself due to the fact he had received the Serb translation of the indictment against him only on Monday.

"I did not even have time to study it," Karadzic told the court.

Chaotic day in court

The revised indictment, the English version of which was released on September 22, showed that the prosecution had reduced the number of charges from 41 to 27, in a bid to speed up the trial.

At the hearing, Scottish judge Bonomy said he was "extremely disappointed" about the slow speed of the trial preparations. He said there had been little progress in the preparations since the former Serb leader's arrest in July.

Emotions reached a boiling point when prosecutor Alan Tieger could not inform the court how many pages of the prosecution's evidence had not yet been transferred to Karadzic in the Serb language.

Bonomy, visibly annoyed, temporarily adjourned the hearing and left the court room.

Upon his return in the trial chamber, Tieger told the court a total of 60 pages of evidence had not yet been given to Karadzic in Serb translation.

Karadzic also complained he had insufficient resources to prepare his defence. The former Serb leader is defending himself but has one legal adviser, American attorney Peter Robinson, appointed by the tribunal earlier this month.

Karadzic faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. He was arrested in Serbia in July after being on the run for more than 12 years.

Karadzic has appeared before the court in pre-trial hearings. The trial proper is not expected to start for several more months.

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