Karadzic to make first appearance before UN tribunal
Radovan Karadzic is to appear for the first time before a UN court in The Hague Thursday, facing charges that the former Bosnian Serb leader committed genocide and war crimes against Muslims and Croats during the 1992-95 Bosnia war, reported dpa.
The session at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is scheduled to start at 4 pm (1400 GMT).
It marks the first time Karadzic will appear in public since he disappeared in the aftermath of the Balkan war.
Karadzic was arrested on a Belgrade bus by Serbian authorities on July 21 and transferred to the Netherlands early Wednesday. He has since been at the UN detention centre in Scheveningen, near The Hague.
At the court session, the prosecution will read the 11-count indictment against him. Charges include genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, persecutions, deportations, unlawfully inflicting terror on civilians and taking hostages.
Karadzic will be asked to enter a plea on each of the 11 counts.
Under ICTY regulations, he has 30 days following the initial appearance to enter his pleas. Karadzic's Serbian lawyer, Svetozar Vujacic, told Serbian reporters late Wednesday his client would request the 30 days.
The indictment against holds Karadzic responsible for, among others, the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, the deadly 44-month siege of Sarajevo and brutal ethnic-cleansing campaigns.
Chief ICTY Prosecutor ICTY Serge Brammertz said in a news conference at the court Wednesday his team was reviewing the indictment, last amended in 2000, to include new case law and evidence presented before the court during the past eight years.
The initial appearance - his first under his true identity since the war - will be broadcast live on Dutch public television and can be received also by satellite throughout Europe.
Leading Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad on Thursday published the first photo of him following a shave and a haircut. While on the run posing as an alternative health practitioner, Karadzic had grown his hair long, wearing it in a pony tail, and covered his face in a long white beard.
The Algemeen Dagblad photo, said to have been taken Monday while Karadzic was in a Belgrade jail cell, shows a clean-shaven and shorter-haired man recognizable as a slightly-aged version of the Bosnian Serb leader during the war.