Start of Karadzic trial delayed

THE HAGUE: The genocide trial of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic will start two days later than the October 19 scheduled date and may face further delays, the UN's Yugoslav war crimes court said Tuesday.

"For administrative reasons, the trial chamber intends to commence the trial on Wednesday the 21st of October rather than the 19th," Judge O-Gon Kwon of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia said during a pre-trial conference in the Hague.

The court would sit on mornings of October 21 and 22, the judge added, without stating what would happen thereafter.

Last month, the court ruled that Karadzic's trial should start on October 19, but he has since lodged an appeal against that ruling, saying he needs several more months to prepare his defence.

The judge said on Tuesday that an appeals chamber was still considering that matter.

"Should the appeals chamber not issue its decision before the 14th of October, the trial chamber will need to consider staying the commencement of trial until such time as the appeals chamber's decision is issued," he said.

Karadzic stands accused of 11 charges for his role in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He is notably charged over the 44-month siege of Sarajevo that left 10,000 people dead; and the July 1995 massacre of around 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the village of Srebrenica.