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ICTY: Joining indictments – pro et contra

16. December 2008.00:00
Radovan Karadzic agrees with the proposal made by Stojan Zupljanin to merge his indictment with the one against Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin, while the Hague Prosecution objects the proposal.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

In his motion, filed with the Hague Tribunal, Radovan Karadzic expressed his agreement with the proposal made by Stojan Zupljanin on December 3, 2008, who asked the Court to merge the two indictments. The Hague Prosecution considers the proposal to be “unfounded”.

“Dr Karadzic considers that the merging of the two indictments will improve the capability of the Defence teams to deny the allegations, because the work will be divided among them, which will not be possible if the cases remain separated. In addition, the joining would facilitate bringing joint Defence witnesses, because they would not have to be invited to appear two times in order to testify at two different trials,” said Radovan Karadzic in his motion.

On the other hand, the Hague Prosecution responded to Zupljanin’s proposal and said that the two cases were “not good candidates for merging.”

“The level of overlapping between the indictment against Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin and the one against Radovan Karadzic, as well as the fact that the trials are currently in different stages, go to show that these two cases are not appropriate for joindering,” the Hague Prosecution’s response alleged.

The Prosecution charges Zupljanin, who was Radovan Karadzic’s advisor for internal affairs for some time, and Stanisic, former Minister of Internal Affairs with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, with crimes against humanity, violation of laws and practices of warfare committed in the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Radovan Karadzic, former RS president, is charged with genocide and a number of other crimes committed in Bosnia during the course of the war. The three indictees are at the Hague, awaiting the start of their trials.

The Hague Prosecution alleges that the Defence of Zupljanin “obviously overestimated the number of pieces of evidence”, which pertain to both cases.

“The indictment against Stanisic and Zupljanin deals with crimes committed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of RS, while the indictment against Karadzic is not focused on those forces, but on all political, civil and military institutions, which participated in the crimes against the non-Serb population from 1992 to 1995,” the Prosecution indicated in its motion.

The Hague Prosecution considers that the geographic scope of the two indictments would represent another obstacle to their merging, because the indictment against Stanisic and Zupljanin treats crimes in 13, out of the 27 municipalities, which are mentioned in Karadzic’s indictment.

This post is also available in: Bosnian