ICTY denies Karadzic appeal to delay war crimes trial

[JURIST] The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Wednesday denied [judgment, PDF] an appeal by former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] to postpone his war crimes trial. Karadzic appealed the trial date last month, claiming a February court ruling that increased the remuneration for his defense lawyers also gave him extra time to prepare for his case. Karadzic had claimed that he needed more time to read through more than 400,000 pages of documents turned over by the prosecution. In rejecting his argument, the appeals chamber of the ICTY said:


[We] are satisfied that the trial chamber took into account all the relevant factors including the February 2010 decision on the staffing of Karadzic's defense team and possible remedies for the period when his team was understaffed. As a result, the Trial Chamber made no error in assessing that further postponement of the trial was not justified. Karadzic has failed to demonstrate that the Trial Chambers abused its discretion in reaching this conclusion.

The Appeals Chamber ordered that the trial resume on April 13 [press release], while Karadzic had requested that proceedings be delayed until June 17.

The ICTY recently heard opening statements [JURIST report] in Karadzic's war crimes trial on charges related to crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict. Karadzic claims that attacks against Bosnian Muslims were "staged," denying [JURIST reports] any involvement in war crimes allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict. In February, Karadzic appeared before the ICTY seeking access to documents [JURIST report] he claimed showed evidence of weapons smuggling to Bosnian Muslims. Also in February, the ICTY rejected [JURIST report] Karadzic's imposition of a court-appointed defense lawyer, claiming the right to legal assistance of his own choosing. Karadzic is defending himself against 11 counts [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder.


 

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