Lawyer imposed on Karadžić represented Albanians

British lawyer Richard Harvey has been appointed as former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić’s legal counsel, the Hague Tribunal has decided.

The court stated today that its Secretariat provided Karadžić the possibility to speak to the lawyers from a list of attorneys, but that the accused did chose any of them.

Harvey volunteered for the position.

He previously worked on cases of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and he was representing ethnic Albanians accused by the Hague Tribunal of committing war crimes in Kosovo.

The Tribunal’s Secretariat decided that there was no conflict of interest which would prevent Harvey from now becoming Karadžić’s legal counsel.

Karadžić’s trial, which started October 27 with the prosecutor’s opening statement, has been adjourned on November 5 after the accused refused to participate until his defense was ready.

The Tribunal’s Trial Chamber therefore decided two weeks ago to appoint an official attorney who would represent his interest in the trial which is scheduled to continue on March 1, 2010.

According to the court’s decision, the former RS president will continue to represent himself, but he will have to cooperate with the appointed attorney.

If he continues to boycott the trial the accused will lose that right and his defense will be completely taken over by the appointed attorney.

In the mean time, Karadžić has requested permission to appeal to the decision to appoint him a legal adviser since the decision had been made despite his objections. The court is yet to rule on that request.

Karadžić has been accused of genocide against non-Serb population in Srebrenica and seven other municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as persecution, extermination, killings, deportation, inhuman conduct, terrorizing, illegal attacks on civilians and taking of international hostages during the 1992-95.

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