Radovan Karadzic “not ready for trial”

14 October 2009 by Sebastiaan Gottlieb

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is working hard on his defence case from his prison cell in Scheveningen. Since the beginning of his pre-trial proceedings before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) 14 months ago, he has filed more than a hundred motions – including one that claims that former United States Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke had promised him immunity from prosecution.

Peter Robinson is Legal Advisor to Karadzic. He says that their team has already received over a million pages of documents from the prosecution and that more arrive every day. They have also asked 27 states and international organisations for documents to help them prepare for cross-examination of prosecution witnesses.

“Some states – such as Bosnia and Croatia - haven’t replied at all, while others - such as Sweden, Norway and Belgium - responded right away. There are also states - including the Netherlands and the United States - who promised to cooperate but haven’t yet done so,” says Robinson.

Because of the heavy workload, Karadzic had asked to extend his trial preparation by another ten months. The Trial Chamber initially denied the request and ruled that the trial would start October 19th. However, on October 13th the appeals chamber ruled that the prosecution must submit a marked-up indictment by the 19th. Karadzic will then have an additional week to review it before going to trial.

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