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ICTY rejects Karadzic attempt to remove court-appointed counsel

[JURIST] The Trial Chamber of International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Monday denied a motion [decision, PDF] filed by former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] requesting appellate review of the court's decision to assign standby counsel [decision, PDF; JURIST report]. Karadzic's motion [text, PDF] argued that the court did not give appointed counsel enough time to prepare a defense and that Karadzic should have been allowed to select his attorney. Karadzic currently represents himself and sought immediate Appeals Chamber review as provided by the ICTY's Rules of Procedure and Evidence [text, PDF], arguing that the assignment of an attorney had twice been found to materially affect the fair and expeditious conduct of proceedings against defendants. The court rejected Karadzic's motion as "vague" and noted that while Richard Harvey had been appointed standby counsel [decision, PDF; JURIST report], Karadzic retained the right to represent himself so long as he did not interfere with or unreasonably delay the proceedings. The court held that certification to the Appeals Chamber would not materially advance the proceedings. The trial is scheduled to resume March 1, 2010.

The ICTY began Karadzic’s trial in absentia last month after proceedings were temporarily adjourned when Karadzic failed to appear [JURIST reports] in court. Karadzic announced earlier that he planned to boycott [JURIST report] his trial because he had not been given adequate time to prepare a defense. He faces 11 charges [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder, for war crimes allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian genocide [PPU backgrounder]. In June, the ICTY said that Karadzic's trial was expected to conclude in early 2012 [JURIST report]. His trial is planned to be the Tribunal's last.

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