ICTY delays Karadzic trial for one month

[JURIST] The Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Wednesday suspended [press release] the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] for a month. The postponement allows Karadzic to read 14,000 pages of evidence the prosecution sent to him in October. Karadzic faces 11 war crimes charges, including counts of genocide and murder, for alleged crimes he committed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Karadzic is defending himself in court and has denied all of the charges against him. The court's decision to delay the trial is partially because of the prosecution's repeated violations of its obligation to disclose evidence to the accused. The ICTY's press release states:

Having already admonished the Prosecution in those previous decisions to better organise and give greater priority to its disclosure processes, Judge Kwon stated that the Chamber was increasingly troubled by the potential cumulative effect of late disclosure on the overall fairness of the trial.
The trial's suspension will take affect after the witnesses already at The Hague or in transit have the chance to testify in court.

In September, the trial resumed [JURIST report] as Karadzic defended himself before the ICTY after repeated attempts to delay proceedings. The trial previously resumed in April [JURIST report], after the ICTY denied [judgment PDF, JURIST report] Karadzic's attempt [motion, PDF] to delay court proceedings, in which he argued a violation of his right to a fair hearing due to the court's rejection of evidentiary challenges. In March, Karadzic lost another motion to postpone his war crimes trial for charges committed during the Bosnia conflict. Following repeated delays in the proceedings, the ICTY judges warned in September that the trial might continue until 2014 [JURIST report], which is two years longer than expected.

 

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