From fear to success

31 August 2011 by Geraldine Coughlan

It's been busy at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) since trials resumed after the summer break.

The landmark partial retrial of former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj almost fell apart as soon at it began, with a key witness refusing to testify and pleading guilty to contempt of court.
Former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic was given until 31 August to respond to a prosecution request to split his genocide trial into two and former Croation Serb leader Goran Hadzic, the tribunal's last remaining fugitive, pleaded not guilty to crimes against non-Serbs.

Haradinaj et al.

This week's retrial in Ramush Haradinaj at al. faced the same difficulties as in the first trial - obtaining evidence from witnesses. In its first trial judgement the court said the trial was surrounded by witness intimidation with witnesses afraid to come forward and tell their stories. The first witness in the new trial, Shaqat Kabashi shows again that this is a perpetual fear - something that hasn't been resolved in the meantime.

Elsana Nurkovic of the Belgrade Humanitarian Law Centre follows the trials at the ICTY.

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