The Appellate Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, rejected on Thursday Radovan Karadzic’s request to delay his trial until June 2010.
The decision about the date the trial will resume should be made shortly; it is expected that it will continue within the next several weeks with the presentation of evidence by the Prosecution.
“The Trial Chamber correctly determined that any further delay of the presentation of evidence was unnecessary,” the Appellate Chamber’s decision says.
The trial of the wartime Bosnian Serb leader began in October 2009 with the presentation of the Prosecution’s introductory arguments. Karadzic faces a total of 11 charges of crimes against humanity, genocide and violating the laws and customs of war. He has denied all the charges.
Karadzic presented his introductory arguments in March this year, but he asked that the examination of the first Prosecution witnesses be postponed until June 17. He claimed that the Trial Chamber “unreasonably determined that the presentation of evidence could begin”, considering the fact that the Defence had still not reviewed about 400,000 documents.
In addition, the indictee complained about “the insufficient funding of his Defence team”. For this reason, ICTY President Patrick Robinson issued a decision on February 22, 2010, approving additional resources for his defence.
After the Trial Chamber in February rejected Karadzic’s request for postponement of the trial, the indictee filed an appeal with the Appellate Chamber at the beginning of March.
Karadzic argued that his Defence team was not able to “prepare for the beginning of the presentation of evidence with full capacity”, adding that, by rejecting his trial postponement motion, the Trial Chamber “made the implementation of the Tribunal President’s decision impossible”.
However, in today’s ruling, the ICTY’s Appellate Chamber claimed it did “not see any mistakes in the Trial Chamber’s assessment of the situation”.
Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade in July 2008 and transferred to UN detention unit in The Hague.