News 01 Nov 12

Hadzic’s Request for Release Rejected

The Hague Tribunal has denied Goran Hadzic’s request for a temporary release arguing that there are no guarantees that he would return to The Hague.

Marija Ristic

On October 25, the former Croatian Serb leader, Goran Hadzic, requested to be temporarily released from November 2 to 4, in order to attended a memorial service for his recently diseased mother.

The Trial Chamber of the Hague Tribunal, ICTY, rejected the request on the grounds that there are not guaranties that Hadzic would return to The Hague to attend his ongoing trial.

“Hadzic is a flight risk because he evaded the Tribunal for over seven years and this flight risk has increased now that Hadzic has been confronted in the court with the prosecution's anticipated evidence against him,” reads a press release issued by the ICTY.

"Due to the incentives for Hadzic to abscond and his proven ability and determination to avoid arrest, the Trial Chamber is not satisfied that Hadzic will appear for the remainder of his trial, if provisionally released," it adds.

Hadzic faces 14 war crimes charges, including the persecution, extermination and torture of non-Serb civilians from Croatia between 1991 and 1993.

During the Croatian war, Hadzic was the President of the Government of the self-proclaimed Serbian Autonomous District Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, SAO SBWS, and subsequently the President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, RSK.

According to the ICTY indictment, he was part of a joint criminal enterprise, JCE, together with Milosevic, Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan and Vojislav Seselj, which came into existence no later than 1 April 1991, and continued until at least 31 December 1995.

The Serbian police arrested Hadzic in the Fruska Gora hills of northern Serbia on July 20 last year, after seven years on run.

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