War Crimes Trial Begins For Former Bosnian Serb Leader

10.26.09 | FL News Team

The trial for the man some call the worst war criminal since Adolf Hitler begins today. Former Bosnian Serb leader Roaovan Karadzic [[ KAHR-ah-JEECH ]] faces eleven charges, including genocide and war crimes against humanity allegedly carried out during the Bosnian war in the 1990s. An estimated 100-thousand people died. The 64-year-old Karadzic was brought into custody last July after being found living disguised and using a false name in Belgrade. Karadzic, who is acting has his own counsel, has vowed to boycott today's trial beginning in order to prepare for his defense. Karadzic asked for a court dismissal in July after claiming he had been offered immunity from former U.S. mediator Richard Holbrooke 13 years ago if he agreed to end a public life. Holbrooke has denied that claim, and the court rejected his request. He faces life in prison if convicted.

The charges stem from a 44-month siege of Sarajevo in which 12-thousand civilians were killed by snipers and shelling. Karadzic is also accused of being the ringleader of the mass murder of seven-thousand Bosnian Muslim men and youths in July 1995.