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UN judges order Mladic to testify at Karadzic trial

The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Wednesday granted [text, PDF] a motion by Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile] to subpoena Ratko Mladic, former leader of the Bosnian Serb army during the Bosnian civil war, to testify at his trial where he has been charged [ICTY case summary, PDF; JURIST news archive] with genocide, crimes against humanity charges and violations of the laws of war. Karadzic claims that he has attempted to gain Mladic's cooperation with the trial, but he has refused. Karadzic expects Mladic to testify that in numerous conversations and meetings between them that they never agreed to commit the crimes of which Karadzic is accused, which would negate his mens rea for multiple charges. Mladic responded that his testimony would be useless because he would refuse to answer any questions that would indict him in his own trial. He further explained his deteriorated health condition should limit his participation to his own trial.

Karadzic has been accused, among other things, of participating in the planning of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], which resulted in the death of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys. In October 2012 Karadzic opened his defense [JURIST report] in the ICTY by denying all charges against him. Earlier in 2012 the ICTY denied [JURIST report] Karadzic's request for a new trial after he argued that the prosecution had failed to disclose [JURIST reports] crucial information until after trial. The court reasoned that the delay in disclosing evidence had not infringed on Karadzic's right to a fair trial. In June 2012 the judges from the ICTY went on a five-day visit [JURIST report] to locations relevant to the indictment of Karadzic. This visit came just months after the ICTY sentenced [JURIST report] former president of the municipality of Sokolac, BiH, Milan Tupajic to two months in prison for refusing to testify against Karadzic.

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