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Karadzic Challenges Appointment Of Defense Lawyer

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -- Radovan Karadzic will challenge the decision by war crimes judges to appoint him a defense lawyer in a trial in which the former Bosnian Serb leader is representing himself, his legal adviser said today.

Judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia last month appointed London-based barrister Richard Harvey as Karadzic's legal counsel after he boycotted the trial. The court denied Karadzic's request to appeal that decision.

If Karadzic continues to boycott the trial, he will forfeit his right to self-representation and the appointed lawyer will take over, the court said.

"Karadzic will file a motion challenging the appointment of Richard Harvey as counsel in his case and asking that the appointment be vacated," Pet Robinson, who advises Karadzic, said. The motion will be lodged on December 4, he added.

Karadzic, who has denied all 11 war crimes charges from the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including genocide at Srebrenica, boycotted the first three days of his trial in an attempt to win more time to prepare his defense.

A ruling on November 5 to appoint counsel allows for Karadzic to continue representing himself, but he will have to work with Harvey.

Rejecting his move to appeal that ruling, the court said the request was too vague and premature because at the time the application the counsel had not yet been appointed.