New Judge to Preside Over Karadzic Trial | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 21.08.2008
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New Judge to Preside Over Karadzic Trial

The trial of former Serbian leader and alleged war criminal Radovan Karadzic is to be presided over by a new judge, the international war crimes tribunal in the Hague has announced.

Former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic

Former Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic is yet to enter a plea to charges against him

A tribunal official said the assignment of new judges for the case was not in response to Karadzic's request for a new judge. On Tuesday, Karadzic filed a motion to the court claiming that Judge Alphons Orie was not suitable to preside over his case.

The president of the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Judge Fausto Pocar, said the prosecution had originally intended to combine Karadzic's case with the proceedings against Momcilo Perisic, one of the most senior generals under late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

But after prosecutors recently informed the court they had changed their plans, the ICTY decided to assign the Karadzic trial to a different judge.

Karadzic labels judge inappropriate

The former wartime Bosnian Serb leader had argued that Orie would not be neutral, as he had already sentenced one of his close assistants in the Balkan War, Momcilo Krajisnik.

The Bosnian-Serb war crimes suspect was captured in the Serbian capital Belgrade in July after nearly 13 years on the run.

He has been indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide over the massacre of up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995 and the siege of Sarajevo in which thousands of people were also killed.

Karadzic is due to appear before the ICTY again August 29 to enter a plea to the charges brought against him.

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