News 31 Jul 14

Radovan Karadzic Demands New War Crimes Trial

Former Bosnian Serb political leader and war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic has asked the Hague Tribunal for a new trial, claiming unfair treatment and prosecution errors.

Marija Ristic
BIRN
Belgrade
Radovan Karadzic in court. Photo by BETA/AP.

Karadzic filed a motion on Wednesday asking the UN-backed court in The Hague, where he is on trial for war crimes and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to grant him a completely new trial, alleging a series of legal errors.

“He contends that the numerous violations by the prosecution of its disclosure obligations… has resulted in unfair trial,” the motion said.

“Starting the trial over, and getting it right this time, is the only remedy that can ensure that the trial of Dr Karadzic is a fair one,” it added.

According to Karadzic, the Tribunal made a number of legal errors during the trial, including failing to disclose 424 witnesses and their statements in timely manner.

Karadzic also complained that the prosecutor didn’t disclose more than 211 documents related to the trial, which it was obliged to do.

“The trial chamber, as a guardian of the rights of the accused to a fair trial, should not simply look the other way in embarrassment. When disclosure is a failure, the trial is a failure. The trial chamber should order, a new, fair trial,” he said.

Karadzic is accused of genocide in Srebrenica and seven other Bosnian municipalities, the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats throughout the country, terrorising the population of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

His trial started in 2009 and the prosecution finished presenting its case in May 2012. Karadzic’s defence called its last witness in February this year, and closing arguments in the trial are expected to begin in late September.

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Background

Karadzic: War Criminal or Poet?

To the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, was a true sensation, and one to be exploited day after day.  

Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed

In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.

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