PARIS — Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb psychiatrist who became a nationalist wartime leader, has failed in his bid to get his war crimes trial in The Hague halted and have all charges thrown out for lack of sufficient evidence. But the U.N. judges hearing his case have dropped one of the two counts of genocide against him, the court announced Thursday.
Karadzic will still be tried on the remaining count of genocide, namely in connection with the massacre at Srebrenica in 1995, as well as nine other counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity from the 1992-95 war in Bosnia.
The judges’ decision has come midway through the trial, after the prosecution had ended its case. Under tribunal rules, the defense can apply at that point to have parts or all of the case thrown out before the defense begins presenting its own arguments.
The count of genocide that was dropped from Karadzic’s case refers to a violent campaign led by Serb and Bosnian Serb forces and militia gangs to drive almost half a million non-Serbs from regions of Bosnia and to turn them into lands for Serbs only. The well-planned and systematic campaign that happened mainly in 1992 included the large-scale killing of civilians and the hauling of thousands off to concentration camps; many homes and religious sites of Muslims and Catholics were razed and villages were then given Serb names.