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Radovan Karadzic will aim to prove at the Hague tribunal
Radovan Karadzic will aim to prove at the Hague tribunal that no genocide took place in Srebrenica, and that fatality figures were deliberately exaggerated, a Serbian paper said on Thursday.

The Srebrenica massacre, where up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed by Serb forces in 1995, is one of two main charges facing the former Bosnian Serb leader, who was transferred to The Hague-based tribunal last week after more than a decade on the run.

The Blic daily quoted Karadzic's defense lawyer Goran Petronijevic as saying the defendant had outlined the defense strategy himself.

"The general defense strategy is to prove that war crimes could have taken place in Srebrenica, but not genocide, and that the number of victims among Muslims was deliberately overestimated in order to bring genocide charges. War crimes and genocide are different things," Petronijevic told the paper.

Karadzic earlier said he would draw up his own defense at the Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, where he also faces war crimes charges. He will follow the example of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic died in jail in 2006 before his trial could be completed.

Karadzic's lawyer in Belgrade Svetozar Vujacic was quoted by the paper as saying that at his trial Karadzic would not accuse former General Ratko Mladic - now the most wanted war crimes suspect from the Balkan wars - over the Srebrenica massacre.

Vujacic said there is written proof backing up Karadzic's claims, but that his defense will be impossible if his laptop and 50 discs seized during searches are not returned to him.

In his submission circulated by the tribunal on Wednesday, Karadzic challenged the legality of his trial and asked for U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former U.S. envoy to the Balkans Richard Holbrooke to be summoned as witnesses.

He again claimed that Holbrooke had promised him immunity from prosecution by the UN tribunal in a 1996 deal under which he had stepped down as president and disappeared from public life. Holbrooke has denied any deal with Karadzic.

Karadzic earlier expressed concern that a "media witch-hunt" would make it impossible for him to get a fair trial at the UN tribunal.


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