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Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 15:36 UK

Karadzic trial 'set for October'

Radovan Karadzic
Radovan Karadzic was arrested after more than a decade in hiding

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's genocide trial could begin on 19 October, according to a UN tribunal judge.

Judge O-Gon Kwon told a pre-trial hearing in The Hague that a formal scheduling order with the final date would be filed "closer to the time".

Mr Karadzic faces 11 charges, including those relating to the 44-month siege of Sarajevo that left 12,000 people dead.

He was arrested in Belgrade in July 2008 after 11 years in hiding.

Mr Karadzic is accused of genocide over the massacre of up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) at Srebrenica in 1995 and is also charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

His trial, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, is expected to take up to two-and-a-half years.

THE INDICTMENT
Eleven counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other atrocities
Charged over shelling Sarajevo during the city's siege, in which some 12,000 civilians died
Allegedly organised the massacre of up to 8,000 Bosniak men and youths in Srebrenica
Targeted Bosniak and Croat political leaders, intellectuals and professionals
Unlawfully deported and transferred civilians because of national or religious identity
Destroyed homes, businesses and sacred sites

The court had previously filed a not guilty plea on Mr Karadzic's behalf after he refused to offer a formal plea, claiming the tribunal lacked jurisdiction.

On Tuesday, Judge Kwon refused a request by Mr Karadzic - who is representing himself - to delay the start of the trial by 10 months.

However, the judge instructed prosecutors to make further cuts to the scope of their case.

They had originally intended to call some 500 witnesses, estimating it would take 490 hours to examine them.

Judges warned in July that if they failed to reduce the charge sheet, the court could do it for them.

The ICTY was originally due to have finished all trials by 2008 and appeals by 2010.

However, taking into account potential appeals, the court estimates it will still be sitting in 2013.



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