Milosevic war crimes trial enters 5th year as proceedings resume

[JURIST] The trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] entered its fifth year Monday as proceedings resumed at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website], leaving only 22 working days left before the trial comes to a close. The former Serbian leader has defended himself, after winning an appeal against a court-appointed defense team, throughout much of the proceedings during which nearly 350 witnesses have been called. The trial has been frought with delays [JURIST report], mainly due to the former leader's health issues [JURIST report], and since 2003, the court has only met three times per week to allow Milosevic periods of rest.

Many anticipate that the verdict will be announced by year's end, after a panel of three judges takes several months to deliberate. Milosevic faces 66 charges [ICTY case backgrounder] of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions [ICRC backgrounder] during the Balkan wars in the 1990s. Last December, Milosevic requested a transfer to Moscow [JURIST report] to receive a medical check-up and a ruling is expected in the near future. The Independent has more.

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