By Sarah Barchus
Radovan Karadzic, former Bosnian Serb leader, began his defense Tuesday against war crime charges for his actions during the Balkan wars, ABC News reported.
Karadzic's trial is held at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague in the Netherlands, the Cable News Network reported. Karadzic is accused of "ethnically cleansing" regions claimed to be Serbian of Muslims and Croatians, CNN reported. He will also defend himself against charges of annihilating 7,000 Muslims in a camp at Srebrenica and killing 12,000 civilians during the siege of Sarajevo, ABC News reported.
The early 1900s split of multiethnic communist Yugoslavia led to one of the grisliest conflict in Europe since WWII. ICTY head of communications, Nerma Jelacic,, said an estimated 140,000 people died in the wars, CNN reported.
At court, Karadzic said the media invented charges against him and that the number of reported victims were three to four time too high, ABC News reported.
Karadzic said his ethnic rivals plotted the violence but he "did everything within human power to avoid the war and to reduce the human suffering of all civilians," CNN reported.
"I should have been rewarded for all the good things that I've done," Karadzic said, CNN reported.
Karadzic was indicted in 1995. In 2008 he was captured in Belgrade, Serbia, after disguising himself and practicing alternative medicine in the Serbian capital for over a decade, CNN reported.
The presiding judge O-Gon Kwon of Korea has granted Karadzic 300 hours to defend himself during which time Karadzic plans to call 300 witnesses, ABC News reported.
The Karadzic gave his opening statements in March 2010, and the trial is expected to end in 2014, CNN reported.