Richard Harvey Will be Karadzic’s Attorney

r36The Hague Tribunal rejects the appeal filed by Radovan Karadzic concerning the decision appointing Richard Harvey as his Defence attorney.

“The indictee has not persuaded the Chamber that the Registrar made a mistake or acted in an unreasonable manner when he decided to select Richard Harvey to prepare for this trial,” the Trial Chamber said.

Acting on a warrant issued by the Trial Chamber, the Office of the Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, appointed Richard Harvey as Karadzic’s Defence attorney in November this year. The appointment was made after the indictee had refused to appear in court at the beginning of his
trial.

Radovan Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska and Supreme Commander of its armed forces, is charged with genocide committed in Srebrenica and ten other municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war during the course of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Karadzic twice appealed the decision on the appointment of a Defence attorney, arguing, among other things, that he did not have an opportunity to choose an attorney because the Registrar had offered him a list containing only five pre-selected attorneys. The Registrar’s Office responded to the appeal, saying that the other attorneys were unsuitable for various reasons, such as conflict of interest, insufficient experience or unavailability.

Among other things, Karadzic appealed because the list contained attorneys coming from the NATO states only, saying that these countries “conducted air attacks on Republika Srpska”, and because of the fact that Harvey is currently representing, in an appellate procedure, Lahij Brahimaj, a former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army, who was sentenced to six years in prison for crimes committed against Serb civilians.

The Chamber considers this argument to be “unsustainable”.

“The Chamber has no doubts that Harvey will provide the indictee with effective and professional legal assistance. In addition, the indictee’s statement that he should select an attorney from a non-NATO country, is, at best, suspicious. His legal advisor Peter Robinson comes from the USA, which is widely known as the leading NATO force. In addition, a number of his pro bono advisors come from NATO countries,” the Chamber concluded.

The trial of Karadzic is due to continue on March 1, 2010. Karadzic will still have the right to self-representation, but, if he continues refusing to appear in court, the appointed attorney will represent him.

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