Radovan Karadzic was 'supreme commander' of ethnic cleansing, court hears

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War crimes prosecutors have opened Europe's first trial for genocide since the Second World War with evidence that Radovan Karadzic was the "supreme commander" behind the mass killings and ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian war.

Alan Tieger, a counsel for the prosecution, quoted from official Serb documents and intercepted telephone conversations to show Mr Karadzic as the "supreme commander" in a violent campaign to "forcibly carve out an ethnic state".

UN prosecutors have unveiled transcripts of intercepted telephone conversations where Mr Karadzic threatened a "real bloodbath" if Bosnian Muslims resisted his plans for a ethically pure Serb state covering 70 per cent of the former Yugoslavia.

The 64-year old Bosnian Serb, who was captured last year on a bus in Belgrade, after over a decade on the run, was not in the dock to hear the case against him after refusing to show up in a protest against the speed of the proceedings against him.

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