Karadzic tells war crimes trial he promoted Balkans peace

The former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has told his trial in the Hague that far from being accused of war crimes, he should be praised for promoting peace.

The 67-year-old is defending himself against charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He told the court that he did everything in human power to avoid the war in the Balkans 20 years ago.

“I succeeded in reducing the suffering of all civilians,” he said, “I declared ceasefires and stopped our army many times when they were close to victory”.

Karadzic went on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia three years ago.

Prosecutors accuse him of responsibility for the shelling of Sarajevo when it was under siege by Bosnian Serb forces.

He is also charged with genocide relating to the massacre of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica – the worst atrocity in Europe since the end of World War II.