Croatian leader enters no plea

July 25, 2011 at 12:58 PM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, July 25 (UPI) -- A Croatian Serb leader arrested last week entered no plea during his initial appearance before a tribunal.

Goran Hadzic, a leader of the secessionist Croatian Serb republic during the breakup of Yugoslavia, did not appear before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Tanjug news agency reported.

Hadzic, the last remaining fugitive sought by the court, faces charges including murder, plunder and deportation in the Eastern Slavonia region.

The court requested Hadzic get more time to prepare his defense. Tribunal rules stipulate defendants be granted the right to appear, prepare a defense and become familiar with the indictment with the indictment within 30 days.

Hadzic will be asked to enter a plea, and a judge will enter a not-guilty plea if he refuses to do so, a spokesperson told Tanjug.

He was captured in Serbia Wednesday and deported to the Netherlands Friday to face the tribunal.

Hadzic is accused of taking part in a joint criminal enterprise with the late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and others.

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