Karadzic Delays Plea in War Crimes Trial
Newly shorn genocide defendent needs time to study charges
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2008 10:31 AM CDT
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, right, enters the courtroom for his initial appearance at the U.N.'s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday July 31, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jerry Lampen, Pool)
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(Newser) – A freshly shaven and subdued Radovan Karadzic declined to enter a plea in his first appearance today before the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, the Guardian reports. The former Bosnian Serb leader said he needed more time to consider the charges, which include 11 counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. He also confirmed that he would be representing himself, with the help of an “invisible adviser.”

In what the Guardian calls a "sometimes erratic and rambling appearance" Karadzic said he had been "kidnapped" by the court, and he attempted to outline a plot instigated by  Richard Holbrooke,  who brokered the 1995 peace deal in Bosnia, to have him murdered. Asked whether his family knew where he was being held, he sardonically replied, “I do not believe there is anyone who does not.”  It was Karadzic’s first appearance without the huge bushy beard that helped him elude capture for years.