Karadzic trial could take more than four years: judges
Judges trying Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic for genocide on Friday said they were "concerned" his trial could take four years or longer.
"A trial of no more than three years' length is manageable," presiding judge O-Gon Kwon told a status conference to measure progress in the trial that started before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in October last year.
"We are concerned that this trial may increase in length to four or even more years. Our primary concern is to ensure a fair and expeditious trial. A trial that is not manageable in terms of its size risks to undermine these requirements."
Kwon said the prosecution was presenting an "unprecedented" volume of evidence and witnesses, while Karadzic, who represents himself in court, took up much time asking witnesses "irrelevant" questions and reading drawn-out passages from documents.
If the current pace continued, "the hearing of evidence will not be concluded until July 2013" on the current four-day trial week, and by January 2013 if this was increased to five days.
The hearing of further rebuttal and rejoinder evidence could add up to nine months to the proceedings, to April 2014, after which the judgment will be written.
The trial was initially planned to conclude by December 2012.
"The chamber will continue to monitor progress in this case to determine whether measures need to be taken in this regard," said Kwon.
Karadzic, 65, faces 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide arising from Bosnia's 1992-95 war in which 100,000 people were killed and 2.2 million left homeless.
He was arrested in July 2008 after 13 years on the run.
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, also tried before the ICTY, died of a heart attack in March 2006, in the UN detention centre in the Hague where just weeks before from the end of his four-year-long trial.
© 2010 AFP