Defiant Karadzic Defends 'Holy' Bosnian War

Former Serb leader rejects genocide accusations as trial resumes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2010 4:21 AM CST
A Bosnian Muslim woman from Srebrenica, Hajra Catic, 64, watches a TV broadcast of the Karadzic trail in front of wall covered with photos of victims of the Srebrenica massacre.   (AP Photo/Amel Emric, File)
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(Newser) – A defiant Radovan Karadzic described the Serb cause as "just and holy" as he opened his defense at his genocide trial yesterday. The former Bosnian Serb leader, on trial over the deaths of 100,000 Muslims and Croats during the conflict in the 1990s, said the Serbs were acting in self-defense against Muslims who sought to set up an Islamic state, the Guardian report.

"My generals were taking action to defend Serbs against a raging bull," Karadzic, who was captured in 2008 after a 12-year manhunt, told the war crimes tribunal in the Hague. He rejected charges that his forces held non-Serbs in concentration camps, calling the facilities "collection camps" for refugees. The 64-year-old could face life in prison if convicted of the charges against him, which include genocide, murder, persecution, and forced deportation.

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