News 24 Sep 12

Victims’ Motion in Karadzic Case Rejected

The Hague Tribunal has rejected a motion filed by victims to be allowed to appeal against the decision to acquit former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, of the charge of genocide in seven Bosnian municipalities

Denis Dzidic

Judge Theodor Meron, the ICTY president, rejected the motion, which was signed by US attorney Aaron Marcu on behalf of the Association of Witnesses and Genocide Survivors and supported by over 200 individuals and associations from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.

In their motion filed on August 31, the representatives of victims have asked the Hague Tribunal, ICTY, to be allowed to appeal the Trial Chamber’s decision to acquit Karadzic of genocide in Prijedor, Kljuc, Zvornik, Sanski Most, Bratunac, Foca and Vlasenica in 1992.

The victims argued that in this case “it cannot be said that evidence is lacking” that Karadzic is responsible for genocide in seven Bosnian municipalities.  

In the explanation of his decision, Judge Meron, said that appellate procedures mainly serve to solve legal issues and that, even if the motion has been approved, the victims’ representative would not be able to present evidence.

“Although the victims of Karadzic’s alleged crimes may have a valuable human and historical perspective to offer and have a special interest in seeing that history accurately records their suffering, the proposed appeal by victims’ representatives, which would pertain to application of the law to the facts of the case and the allegedly wrong conclusion by the Trial Chamber, would not be helpful,” Meron said.

In June, Karadzic had attempted to have 11 charges against him dismissed. The Trial Chamber ruled that the prosecution had presented sufficient evidence for ten out of the 11 counts of the indictment.

However it acquitted Karadzic of charges of genocide in seven Bosnian municipalities in 1992.   

The Hague prosecution appealed the decision.

Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska,  and the supreme Commander of its armed forces, is indicted for genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period from 1992 to 1995.

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