Radovan Karadžić was a founding member of the Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was President of the party from July 1990 to July 1996. He acted as Chairman of the National Security Council of the so-called Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (later Republika Srpska). He was President of the three-member Presidency of Republika Srpska from its creation in May 1992 until December 1992, and thereafter sole President of Republika Srpska and Supreme Commander of its armed forces until July 1996.
The accused is indicted for two counts of genocide; five counts of crimes against humanity; four counts of violations of the laws or customs of war. Following his failure to plea, a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf on 3 March 2009.