Karadzic war crimes trial resumes with first prosecution witness

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Tuesday resumed the war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive]. The proceedings commenced with the prosecution calling its first witness, Bosnian Muslim Ahmet Zulic [witness list, PDF]. Zulic provided testimony concerning the 1992 attack on his village of Sanski Most at the beginning of the Bosnian war [PPU backgrounder]. Zulic testified that his father was burned alive by Serb insurgents and that he witnessed Serbs force 20 Muslim men to dig their own graves before executing them. The prosecution alleges that Karadzic was responsible for coordinating the invasion. Zulic has previously testified about the general political situation in Sanski Most and about the brutal conditions, beatings, and killings in the detention facilities in which he was held, including in the trial of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic [Biography profile; JURIST news archive]. Zulic will be cross-examined by Karadzic, who is serving as his own defense counsel. The prosecution's 11 remaining witness will take the stand in the coming weeks.

Last week, the ICTY dismissed [JURIST report] Kardzic's latest motion to delay court proceedings, in which he argued that there had been a violation of his right to a fair hearing because the court had rejected previous evidentiary challenges. In March, Karadzic lost another motion [JURIST report] to postpone his war crimes trial on charges related to crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict. Karadzic claimed that a February ruling increasing the remuneration for his defense lawyers should also give him extra time to prepare for his case. Karadzic is defending himself against 11 counts [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder.

 

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