[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Monday ordered the provisional release [order, PDF] pursuant to an interlocutory appeal for Goran Hadžic [ICTY backgrounder; JURIST news archive], the former president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina during the Croatian War of Independence [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. Hadzic is accused of coordinating, supporting and instigating efforts to achieve the “permanent removal of a majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from a large part of the territory of the Republic of Croatia” during his term as president. Diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, Hadzic has been unfit to stand trial [WP report] since October. The ICTY has ordered Hadzic to be released to Serbian custody until his next hearing in May.
The ICTY commenced Hadzic’s trial [JURIST report] in October of 2012. In August 2011, Hadzic entered a not guilty plea [JURIST report] at the ICTY. Hadzic had refused to enter a plea [JURIST report] the previous month when he was extradited to The Hague [JURIST report]. Hadzic was the last fugitive of the original 161 sought by the ICTY to be arrested [JURIST report]. The ICTY’s work in prosecuting suspected war criminals for acts committed during the Balkan War was part of the impetus for the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] and other conflict and region specific criminal tribunals. The ICTY was the first war crimes court created by the UN [ICTY backgrounder] and the first international war crimes tribunal since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. It was created by the UN Security Council [official website] pursuant to Chapter VII of the UN Charter [text].