News 07 Sep 16

UN Court Gives $508,797 for Karadzic’s Appeal

The UN war crimes court has granted $508,797 for the preparation of former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic’s appeal against his conviction for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo
Radovan Karadzic in the Hague courtroom. Photo: ICTY.

Radovan Karadzic’s lawyer told BIRN that the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals has allocated $508,797 to the defence team to prepare his appeal against his conviction earlier this year by the Hague-based war crimes court.

Lawyer Peter Robinson said that the amount was higher than the sum envisaged by the Tribunal’s rulebook, but explained that this was due to the complexity of the case, which covers Karadzic’s alleged responsibility for four separate joint criminal enterprises.

“There are a large number of grounds of appeal. Our notice of appeal is unique in that it concentrates on legal issues, rather than complaining about a plethora of factual findings,” the defence team said in its request to the court for a higher amount than usually granted.

Robinson said that the money would enable the defence to hire two legal counsellors, an attorney and a military expert who can give an opinion on the shelling of Sarajevo during the war, which was one of the crimes for which Karadzic was judged responsible. It will also pay legal apprentices hired by the Hague Tribunal.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals previously approved the payment of around $130,000 to cover the defence’s costs while filing a motion to the judges setting out which legal and factual issues the defence plans to highlight in the appeal.

A total of $33,000 is also to be paid to cover the defence’s costs while the appeal is being heard in court.

Karadzic was found guilty in March this year of committing genocide against Bosniaks from Srebrenica in 1995, terrorising the civilian population of Sarajevo, the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats across the country and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

However he was acquitted committing genocide in seven other Bosnian municipalities in 1992.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals was set up to take over all remaining appeals after the Hague Tribunal closes and manage the UN court’s huge archive.

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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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