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Karadzic appeals imposition of court-appointed lawyer

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday filed an appeal [text, PDF] with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] challenging the imposition of a court-appointed lawyer [JURIST report]. Karadzic argued that the trial court erred by not allowing him to choose standby counsel in violation of his right to "legal assistance of his own choosing" under Article 21(4)(d) of the Statute of the ICTY and the Appeals Chamber ruling [text, PDF] in Prosecutor v. Seselj. Karadzic alleged that by not removing the court-appointed counsel, the trial chamber sanctioned the "unreasonable and arbitrary selection procedure which resulted in the exclusion of all lawyers from the Balkans" and the "imposition of a lawyer on the accused that the accused did not want and cannot trust."

Last month the Trial Chamber rejected Karadzic's motion [JURIST reports] challenging the legitimacy of the court. In November, the ICTY denied a motion filed by Karadzic requesting appellate review of the court's decision to assign standby counsel [JURIST reports]. The ICTY began Karadzic's trial in absentia in October after Karadzic failed to appear [JURIST reports] in court. Karadzic had announced that he planned to boycott [JURIST report] his trial because he had not been given adequate time to prepare a defense. The ICTY has also repeatedly rejected [JURIST report] Karadzic's argument that he should be immune from trial based on an alleged agreement with former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Karadzic 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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