Negotiated indictment of a prime minister
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, who is accused of crimes against humanity and of violating the laws and customs of war, is the first serving politician to be indicted by the ICTY since the ex-Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic. A former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Haradinaj was elected by parliament on 3 December to serve in the UN-administered province. On 8 March, he resigned, preferring to face the UN court "as a common citizen".
The Bosnian army and its Mujahedins
The big event was the opening on 9 March of the special war crimes chamber in Sarajevo. But a week earlier the Bosnian media was buzzing with shocked reactions to the indictment and departure to The Hague of the retired Bosnian general, Rasim Delic. The outcry caused by the surrender of Delic, who is seen as a "war hero", raises questions over whether the Bosnian environment is mature enough to ensure a fair trial for defendants on all sides of the conflict in former Yugoslavia, especially Bosnian Muslims.
Trial of the military junta opens in Freetown
The third and last scheduled trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone finally got underway on 7 March. The three men in the dock are former members of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC): Alex Tamba Brima, Brima Bazzy Kamara and Santigie Borbor Kanu. They faced the three foreign judges after spending nearly two years in detention. On stage for perhaps the last time was court prosecutor David Crane, two weeks after announcing he will be stepping down in July after three years at the head of the prosecution.
Last minute changes in the Muvunyi trial
"Rapes were committed by soldiers under the accused's command, and he did nothing to punish them," asserted the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Hassan Bubacar Jallow, on the opening day of the trial of Tharcisse Muvunyi on 28 February 2005. Yet only a month earlier, Jallow had asked the judges for authorisation to strike the rape allegations from the indictment.