Former Croatian Army officer Slobodan Praljak has submitted a letter to the Trial Chamber at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, indicating that he intends to "withdraw from active participation in the proceedings".
In the letter he writes that his decision is based on his "belief that there is a lack of fundamental fairness in the proceedings".
"Slobodan Praljak hopes that the Honorable Judges will appreciate his bona fide critique with an open mind and a spirit of good will," the note says.
Praljak is accused, along with Jadranko Prlic, Valentin Coric, Bruno Stojic, Milivoj Petkovic and Berislav Pusic, for crimes allegedly committed in the so-called Croatian Community of Herceg Bosna, an area in Bosnia that was controlled by Croatians and Bosnian Croats during the war.
According to the indictment, the defendants are guilty of killings, inhuman treatment, deportations, destruction of property, destruction of cities, town and villages, and persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds. The crimes were allegedly committed against Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) during the conflict in 1993 and 1994.
Praljak was a Croatian Army officer and Assistant Minister of Defence.
In a long letter addresed to the members of the Chamber, Praljak asked questions about the judges' professionality and impartiality, complaining about the "growth of small bad procedures" in his trial. Previously Praljak had said that judges in his trial had neglected evidence for his defence.
Praljak gave the details behind his reasoning, and 'philosophical' explanations for his decision.
He concluded with the statement that everything that had been done during the trial, "made me reach the lowest possible level of my dignity, and that is why I do not accept any further participation. This is all that I could say, to utter a word and save my soul, and you do whatever you like."
The trial began on April 26, 2006. The prosecution completed its case after almost two years, and the defence started its presentation of evidence on May 5, 2008.
This article is Premium Content. In order to gain access to it, please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber, or subscribe to one of our Premium Content packages.
Our Premium Service gives you access to exclusive content published on Balkan Insight, including analyses, investigations, comments, interviews and more. Subscribe to Balkan Transitional Justice Premium or to Full Premium Access and get unparalleled in-depth coverage of the Western Balkans.
If you have trouble logging in or any other questions regarding you account, please contact us