From: Inside Story

Radovan Karadzic

We ask if the trial against the former Bosnian-Serb leader is politically motivated.

Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian-Serb wartime leader, stood defiant as his trial at The Hague resumed on Monday.

He faces 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the Bosnian wars during the 1990s and could face life imprisonment if convicted.

The violence between Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia left around 100,000 people dead or missing and 2.2 million displaced.

Among the charges against Karadzic are the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 7,000 captured Muslim men and boys and the 44-month siege of the capital, Sarajevo, that ended in November 1995, leaving about 10,000 people dead.

Karadzic, who has been called a hero by some and a butcher by others, told the court that the Bosnian Serbs had defended themselves against Islamic fundamentalists who had started the war in Bosnia to lay claim to the entire country.

Is this trial politically motivated? And could its outcome strengthen the notion of accountability worldwide? 

Inside Story presenter Imran Garda is joined by Andrew Cayley, the international prosecutor at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Lorence Hartmann, a former spokesperson for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and author of the book Peace and Punishment: The Secret Wars of Politics and International Justice, and Jeremy Corbyn, a member of the British parliament.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Monday, March 1, 2010.