Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, has appeared in a special court for alleged war crimes committed during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s.
Among several charges, he is accused of masterminding the siege of Sarajevo in which thousands of civilians died.
In his opening defence statement, Karadzic claimed he was "protecting" Serbians against threats from Muslim extremists in a "just and holy war".
Barnaby Phillips reports from The Hague in the Netherlands.
[March 2, 2010]