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Karadzic Not Allowed To Appeal Appointed Counsel

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in the courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague on November 3
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -- The UN criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has said former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic cannot appeal against the court's decision to appoint him legal counsel after he boycotted proceedings.

Judges ordered earlier this month that legal counsel be appointed to Karadzic and adjourned his trial until March 2010 to give new defense lawyers time to prepare.

Karadzic, who has denied all 11 war crimes charges from the 1992-95 Bosnian war, had been representing himself but boycotted the first three days of his trial, arguing he needed more time to prepare his defense.

The ruling on November 5 to appoint counsel allows for Karadzic to continue representing himself, but he will have to work with an appointed lawyer. If he continues to boycott the trial, then Karadzic will forfeit his right to self-representation and the appointed lawyer will take over, the court said.

It said today that Karadzic's appeal request was too vague and premature because at the time of his application, no counsel had been appointed to him.

"Granting the application now, and then potentially again on 1 March, 2010...would hinder, rather than materially advance the proceedings," the court said.

Judges last week appointed London-based barrister Richard Harvey to represent Karadzic, who was indicted over episodes including the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo that began in 1992 and the genocide of about 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.

An estimated 100,000 people died in the Bosnian war as the former Yugoslavia was torn apart in the 1990s.