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Karadzic war crimes trial set for late October

  • Story Highlights
  • Trial of former Bosnian-Serb president Karadzic to start October 26
  • Karadzic faces 11 counts of war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity
  • Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade last year
  • Milorad Trbic gets 30-year prison term after being found guilty of genocide
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(CNN) -- The war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is set to begin October 26, the U.N. war crimes tribunal at The Hague said Friday.

Karadzic faces 11 counts of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

Karadzic faces 11 counts of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

Karadzic is one of the highest ranking officials to be indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

He is charged with two counts of genocide and other crimes committed against Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 war there.

Karadzic "stands accused of genocide for the murder of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men in Srebrenica in July 1995," according to a news release from the tribunal. "The indictment states that on 8 March 1995, Karadzic instructed Bosnian Serb forces under his command to create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival for the inhabitants of Srebrenica, amongst other places."

Most of the killings of the men occurred in the Zvornik Brigade zone, according to a press release Friday from the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Sarajevo court, a creation of the international community, also hears war crimes cases.

The Hague indictment also says that "Karadzic committed genocide when forces under his command killed non-Serbs during and after attacks on towns in more than a dozen Bosnian municipalities in the early stages of the war."

Karadzic, who said he is defending himself, has said he never planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise participated in any of the crimes charged.

Karadzic, wearing an elaborate disguise, was arrested a year ago on a Belgrade bus after more than 13 years on the run. He would face life in prison if convicted.

Karadzic's upcoming trial is one of many attempts to bring to justice the many military personnel accused of orchestrating the mass killings.

Milorad Trbic, who served as the duty operations officer of the Zvornik Brigade, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday after being found guilty of "genocide, for his participation in a joint criminal enterprise, between 12 July and 30 November 1995," said the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Trbic, 51, had been in custody since April 2005, the release said.

Trbic, who faced the maximum penalty of 45 years in prison, was given a reduced sentence because he did not help plan the mass killings, the court said.

But his role contributed to the implementation of the genocidal plan, the statement said. He has been accused of supervising and directing executions, according to a July 2007 indictment.

"The court found that the accused selected detention sites in the Zvornik Brigade zone of responsibility where Bosniak males from Srebrenica would later be brought," said the release. "The court found that he was significantly involved in detention sites in Orahovac, Rocevici and Petkovci, as well as in execution sites near Lazete, Kozluk and Petkovci Dam. The victims who were killed at these execution sites were then buried in unmarked mass graves."

At the trial, Trbic also was convicted of exhuming and reburying the victims in September 1995, which the court said delayed the "identification process because bodies were dismembered and body parts were then reburied in different mass graves."

The court had entered a plea of not guilty for Trbic after he did not appear at a plea hearing in August 2007. He was earlier acquitted of genocide that occurred in the Bratunac Brigade zone, the court said.

All About Radovan KaradzicGenocideSerbiaWar Crimes

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