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Karadzic backs war ally's appeal

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in The Hague. File photo
Radovan Karadzic has opted to defend himself

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has testified as a witness at the UN war crimes court in The Hague.

He defended his former ally Momcilo Krajisnik, who is appealing against a 27-year jail term for war crimes during the 1992-95 Bosnian conflict.

Mr Karadzic submitted written testimony but refused to be cross-examined, saying it could harm his own defence when his genocide case comes to trial.

Mr Karadzic denies all the charges relating to the Bosnian war.

He argued that "Krajisnik was not a member of the [Bosnian Serb] presidency" during the war.

Momcilo Krajisnik at The Hague tribunal. Photo: 2006
Krajisnik is a former speaker of the Bosnian Serb parliament

He also rejected the prosecution's claim that Krajisnik was responsible for ethnic cleansing, stating that this was "not the policy of the [Bosnian] Serb leadership".

But Mr Karadzic was prevented by his defence lawyer from answering further questions.

The lawyer, Peter Robinson, said it was "nothing more than a transparent attempt to use his answers against him at his own trial".

Mr Karadzic has been indicted on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Bosnian war.

He was caught in July after 13 years on the run.

Last month, a judge at The Hague reprimanded Mr Karadzic and the prosecutors bringing him to trial for slow progress.

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