In Radovan Karadzic’s opinion, the detainees' health has deteriorated because they are served frozen food from plastic dishes warmed in microwave ovens. Another reason might be potentially hazardous materials used in the construction of the Detention Unit. Karadzic complains about excessive use of paracetamol, a ‘dangerous drug’. He also asks the judges to allow him to ‘be active professionally as a medical doctor and writer’ and to continue the work of his predecessor Vuk Karadzic

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

At the status conference convened at his request, Radovan Karadzic informed the judges and the public of the medical and other problems he had faced during his stay in the UN Detention Unit.

As Karadzic noted, he was in 'perfect health' when he arrived in The Hague in 2008. Now Karadzic complains that the results of his lab tests are getting worse, which is an indication of a problem pertaining to sugar metabolism. According to Karadzic, other detainees have the same problem. Karadzic also noted that there was an explosion of malignancies. Something is wrong with the entire system, with the food given to the detainees, and possibly with the building itself, Karadzic concluded.

As Karadzic noted, the detainees of the International Criminal Court are housed in the Detention Unit, too, but under better and more liberal conditions. They also have better food. The conditions should be the same for the accused detained by "both UN courts", Karadzic argued. He went on to complain that the Tribunals detainees were served frozen meals in plastic dishes warmed in microwave ovens. The detainees, Karadzic stressed, were given paracetamol dispensed liberally for most of their ailments, despite the fact that the latest research has shown paracetamol is a very dangerous drug. The UN system is very dangerous and has caused many people to fall ill Karadzic concluded.

Karadzic asked why the Tribunals convicts were sent to prisons in ex-communist countries such as Estonia to serve their sentences. The conditions there are very bad. Since the Tribunals convicts were professionals who believe they are innocent, they should serve their sentences in prisons in the most highly developed Western countries.

Also, Karadzic asked the judges to allow him to resume his professional activities, as a medical doctor and a writer in the Detention Unit. Karadzic wants to be given Internet access, and voice recording devices. Karadzic recalled the work of his family predecessor, Vuk Karadzic, who codified the Serbian language, stating that he wished to pick up where his predecessor had left off in that sphere. In particular, the accused is keen to investigate the proper pronunciation of the 400,000 words listed in the nominative. Counting all the other cases, Radovan Karadic intends to analyse about 2,000,000 words.

Before the status conference today, Karadzic's last appearance in court was on 7 October 2014 when he presented his closing arguments, calling for his acquittal. The prosecution had asked for a life sentence for the former Republika Srpska president. Karadzic is on trial for genocide and other crimes in BH and the judgment is expected in October 2015.