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ICTY assigns Scottish judge to oversee Karadzic war crimes trial preparations

[JURIST] Officials for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] announced Friday that a Scottish judge will preside over the preparatory stages of the upcoming war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive]. The designation of Judge Iain Bonomy [ICTY biography], who served on the ICTY trial court for late Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive], followed Thursday's announcement [JURIST report] that there would be a new panel of judges assigned to the case. Karadzic recently requested the new panel [JURIST report], arguing that presiding Judge Alphons Orie [DPA profile] and other judges initially assigned were biased against him because they had overseen ICTY cases brought against various other former Bosnian Serb leaders, and would want to maintain their own lines of reasoning. To illustrate his argument, Karadzic pointed to the case of Momcilo Krajisnik [ICTY backgrounder], who was sentenced [judgment, PDF; JURIST report] to 27 years imprisonment for crimes similar to those of which Karadzic is accused. According to ICTY spokesperson Nerma Jelacic, the moves were made to ensure proper trial management and not because of the request from Karadzic. Bonomy is scheduled to hear Karadzic's pleas on August 29. BBC News has more. The Scotsman has additional coverage.

Karadzic, who has been indicted [text] on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, was arrested [JURIST report] in Serbia in July after evading capture for nearly 13 years. Later that month, Serbian authorities transferred [press release] Karadzic to the custody of the ICTY. Karadzic was originally indicted [text] in 1995, but had been in hiding under an assumed identity as an alternative medicine practitioner [BBC report] until his arrest. He is accused of involvement in the Srebrenica [JURIST news archive] massacre and other war crimes against Bosnian Muslims and Croats during ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

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