Page last updated at 09:38 GMT, Thursday, 22 October 2009 10:38 UK

Karadzic plans to boycott trial

Radovan Karadzic at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, file pic from August 2009
Karadzic sent the court a letter saying his defence was 'not ready'

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has told the court at The Hague he intends to boycott the start of his trial on Monday.

Mr Karadzic sent a letter to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), saying his defence was "not ready".

He denies 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, dating back to the Bosnian war.

Certain charges are related to the 1995 massacre of 8,000 people at Srebrenica.

Mr Karadzic, who is defending himself, was arrested in Serbia and brought to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia last year, after more than a decade in hiding.

Control of proceedings

Mr Karadzic says he has not had enough time to study a million pages of prosecution documents.

Bosnian Muslim survivors of the Srebrenica massacre search for names of their relatives (file image)

Although the trial's start date has been put back twice, his attempts to have the start delayed by 10 months have been rejected by the court.

"[Mr Karadzic] filed a letter saying that he was not intending to appear on Monday," an ICTY spokeswoman told the BBC.

She added that the court controlled the timing of proceedings, and that there currently was no indication the trial's schedule would be changed.

"The judges may decide to go ahead without him," said the spokeswoman.

The court had previously rejected Mr Karadzic's appeal that the case be dropped on the grounds that he was offered immunity from prosecution by former US mediator Richard Holbrooke in 1996 if he left public life.

Mr Holbrooke has repeatedly denied the claim.

The judges said even if the offer was made, it would not have legal standing.

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