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ICTY refuses to split Milosevic indictment, denies defense request for more time

[JURIST] Judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website] said Tuesday that they will not sever proceedings in the Slobodan Milosevic trial [JURIST news archive; ICTY case backgrounder]. The court had been considering [JURIST report] whether it should deal separately with Milosevic's indictment [text] on charges stemming from the 1999 Kosovo conflict so that it could conclude that part of the trial first. Milosevic has also been charged on separate indictments for wars in Croatia and Bosnia [indictment texts], but the cases were merged when the trial began in 2002. The ICTY also denied Milosevic's application for more time to present his case. The tribunal noted that Milosevic has used over 75 percent of time allotted for his defense and has focused almost exclusively on charges in the Kosovo indictment, in what the court called an attempt "to provide a foundation for a request for additional time." According to the judges' decision [text; press release], Milosevic is not taking "a reasonable approach to the presentation of his case" and stressed that they will not allow additional time for Milosevic's defense. In light of this, the court decided there was not appropriate to sever the Kosovo indictment. The ICTY did, however, grant Milosevic's request for a six-week rest period [JURIST report]. Proceedings will resume on January 23. AP has more.

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