THE HAGUE, Netherlands U.N. prosecutors have filed a second genocide charge against Radovan Karadzic in a proposed new indictment released Tuesday that aims to speed up the trial of the former Bosnian Serb leader.
Prosecutors asked judges at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal to approve the amended indictment, which includes two genocide charges referring to a 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing against Muslims and Croats in Bosnia and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men by Bosnian Serb forces.
The previous indictment, last updated in 2000 when Karadzic was in hiding, covered both events in a single count of genocide. The new, streamlined indictment has Karadzic facing 11 charges in total.
Karadzic was first indicted in 1995, when he was president of the breakaway Bosnian Serb republic. He stepped down a year later and vanished in 1998 to evade arrest.
He was captured on a Belgrade bus in July while posing as an alternative healer after 13 years on the run. He will be allowed to make comments on the proposed new indictment before judges decide whether to allow the changes.
The court is under pressure from the United Nations to finish all its cases by 2010, and the new Karadzic indictment cuts down the number of allegations prosecutors are citing to support their charges meaning they would have to call fewer witnesses.
"This was done to streamline the case," prosecution spokeswoman Olga Kavran said.
The new indictment lists alleged crimes in 27 Bosnian municipalities down from 41.
"The municipalities that remain reflect the ethnic cleansing, the terror campaign and the genocide" Karadzic is alleged to have masterminded during Bosnia's brutal 1992-95 war, Kavran said.
"We are trying to be narrower and more efficient in presenting our evidence," she said.
Prosecutors were criticized for bringing an unwieldy case against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic that covered atrocities across the Balkans throughout the 1990s. Milosevic's four-year trial was aborted in March 2006 when he died of a heart attack in his U.N. cell.
No date has been set for Karadzic's trial, but it is unlikely to start before next year.
To simplify the case against him, prosecutors no longer accuse Karadzic of breaching the Geneva Conventions, avoiding the need to prove that the Bosnian war was an international conflict.
The court also is awaiting the arrest of two remaining fugitives former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic, a former leader of Serbs in Croatia. Mladic is thought to be hiding in Serbia.