THE HAGUE, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ordered former Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic to present his defense in 300 hours, the court announced here on Wednesday.
The amount of time is the same as the prosecutors had for explaining the charges against the former political leader of the Bosnian Serbs. Karadzic, who conducts his own defense, had asked for 600 hours and wanted to call 579 witnesses.
"In rendering its decision, the trial chamber considered a number of factors, including the time taken by the accused to cross-examine prosecution witnesses and the fact that each single adjudicated fact does not need to be addressed during the defense case," Nerma Jelacic, head of communications of the ICTY, said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
"The decision was also based on the chamber's concerns about the relevance and repetitive nature of the expected testimony of a large proportion of expected defense witnesses," Jelacic said.
Karadzic, former president of the Serb Republic, head of the Serb Democratic Party and supreme commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, was arrested in the Serbian capital Belgrade and transferred to The Hague in mid-2008, after having spent more than 13 years evading arrest.
His trial at the tribunal began three years ago. He is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war committed during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995.
Karadzic, who insists he is innocent, will start his defense on Oct. 16.