The big news out of The Hague will come tomorrow, but today the indicted Bosnian Serb war criminal (and noted soda-drinker) Radovan Karadzic pled not guilty had the presiding judge enter a plea of not guilty for him. Karadzic, borrowing a trick from his former boss Slobodan Milosevic, is representing himself, and, despite having some sound legal minds advising him, seems determined to use the opportunity to rail against the court and generally sow disorder and disruption.
“I’m not going to enter a plea at all. This tribunal does not have the right to try me,” Karadzic said, raising his voice as he faced the courtroom alone, flanked by two guards.
When the judge pressed him on whether this meant he was pleading not guilty, Karadzic began “Yes, but…,” and the judge cut him off, smartly wanting to avoid setting a precedent for antics that could detract from the proceedings’ effectiveness. This is a good sign that the judge, the wonderfully accented Iain Bonomy, will hopefully be able to keep the trial on track and minimize the off-topic ranting that damaged Milosevic’s trial.
One can only imagine what Bashir would have to say if he ever stands trial…