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Karadzic Makes Appearance At War Crimes Tribunal

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague on November 3.
THE HAGUE (Reuters) -- Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has appeared for an administrative hearing in his war crimes trial, temporarily giving up his boycott to ask for more time to prepare his case.

Karadzic, who is acting as his own attorney, refused to attend the opening of the proceedings before the Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal last week. He has said he needs another 10 months to prepare his defense against 11 war crimes charges, including genocide, related to the 1992-1995 war.

The hearing is being held to investigate ways to resolve the impasse, either by continuing the trial in Karadzic's absence, assigning counsel, seeking outside advice, or adjourning to allow assigned legal counsel time to prepare.

"They will probably either impose counsel or a standby counsel, in which case Karadzic will refuse to cooperate with this person and the crisis will be even bigger," Marko Sladojevic, one of Karadzic's legal advisers, told Reuters Television before the hearing began.

The charges against Karadzic relate to the 1992-95 Bosnian war and also include the 43-month siege of Sarajevo, which began in 1992. An estimated 10,000 people died in the siege as the former Yugoslavia was torn apart in the 1990s by Serbs, Croats, and Muslims fighting for land.

Tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said the judges have repeatedly warned Karadzic he will have to face the consequences if he continues to obstruct the trial, adding that judges will decide on how to proceed after hearing submissions on November 3.