Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is asking to be released from prison pending his appeal on his conviction for genocide and other atrocities, saying his continued detention is ruining his health.
While addressing a special hearing at the Yugoslav War Crimes Court Wednesday in the Hague, Karadzic again proclaimed his innocence, slamming the verdict as “monstrous.”
He also complained about his detention conditions and asked for a new laptop to help him prepare his case.
Judge Theodor Meron denied his request to be released, but said he would order officials to look into conditions at the detention facility.
“My proposal is that my stay in the detention center should be suspended and that I should be released pending the finalization of the legal procedure to uphold or refute this verdict, which would not pass among first year students of law,” Karadzic said.
Karadzic was found guilty last month of committing Serb atrocities throughout Bosnia’s 1992-95 war that left 100,000 people dead. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
The U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia said Karadzic was criminally responsible for genocide in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, when Serb forces killed 8,000 Muslim men and boys, in what has been called the worst atrocity in Europe since the Holocaust.