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Karadzic Judges Visit Srebrenica

Court officials visit area where massacre took place in July 1995.
By Rachel Irwin

Judges hearing the case against former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic this week conducted a five-day visit to the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica and its surrounding areas.

According to a statement by the Hague tribunal, the visit began on June 4 and was not open to journalists. No other specific details have been released about it.

Prosecutors allege that Karadzic, the president of the self-declared Serb entity Republika Srpska from 1992 to 1996, was responsible for the massacre of more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995, after the town fell to Bosnian Serb forces.

The indictment – which lists 11 counts in total - alleges that Karadzic was responsible for crimes of genocide, persecution, extermination, murder and forcible transfer which “contributed to achieving the objective of the permanent removal of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory”.

Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade in July 2008 after 13 years on the run. Witness testimony in his trial began in April 2010 and prosecutors rested their case against him in May 2012. The accused, who represents himself, is slated to begin calling his own witnesses in October.

In the meantime, there will be a hearing next week at which Karadzic is expected to ask judges to acquit him on all counts of the indictment.

Tribunal rules state that the bench may acquit a defendant at this stage in proceedings if there is no evidence capable of supporting a conviction.

Rachel Irwin is an IWPR reporter in The Hague.