UN Hague tribunal accepts new Karadzic indictment

UN tribunal judges approved most of an amended indictment against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.

UN Hague tribunal accepts new Karadzic indictment
United Nations tribunal judges approved most of an amended indictment against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on Monday, which narrows the scope of alleged criminal acts during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

The decision by the three judges paves the way for the more efficient trial prosecutors had been seeking.

The new indictment contains the same number of charges -- 11, including two of genocide -- but reduces the areas where they were committed.

Prosecutors had added three incidents of murder to four counts but judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia did not grant the amendment, saying they "were not adequately supported by evidence."

Karadzic, 63, was arrested in July 2008 after 11 years on the run. He had been living in Belgrade disguised as an alternative healer with a flowing beard and long hair.

The judge overseeing pre-trial proceedings entered a plea of 'not guilty' for Karadzic after his arrest when he refused to plead on his own behalf.

Karadzic, who has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the tribunal, will be asked to enter a new plea to the amended charges on Friday.

The former Bosnian Serb leader is representing himself, as did former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who died during his war crimes trial in 2006.

Prosecutors argued in their motion to amend the indictment that "any minor delay will be more than offset by the time savings resulting from a more focused and precise indictment."

Among the main changes to the indictment, prosecutors removed one charge of complicity in genocide and split the other genocide charge into two time periods, including the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica.

The remaining charges against Karadzic, which were changed to reflect new information and narrow the focus of the charges, include crimes against humanity, murder, deportation, terror and unlawful attacks on civilians, and the taking of hostages.

Reuters
Last Mod: 17 Şubat 2009, 18:33
Add Comment