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Mladic to Testify in Karadzic’s Defence This Month

8. January 2014.00:00
Former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic said that his wartime military commander Ratko Mladic will start testifying at his Hague Tribunal trial on January 28.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Mladic will begin to testify as a defence witness in Karadzic’s war crimes trial later this month after his objection that he was too ill to do so was rejected by the international court.

Karadzic suggested in his motion to the court that “because of his bad medical condition”, Mladic, who is also on trial at the Tribunal, should only testify from 9am till 10.30am, for as many days as is necessary.

Karadzic and Mladic are charged in separate cases with genocide in Srebrenica in 1995, persecution of Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which reached the scale of genocide in seven municipalities, terrorising the inhabitants of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

After the trial chamber ordered Karadzic to file any evidence which could be relevant when determining his sentence before he finishes presenting his case, his defence requested that the head of the Tribunal’s custody unit should write a report about his behaviour in detention.

“This report is required to support Karadzic’s opinion that his good behaviour in custody should be considered as a mitigating circumstance in case he is convicted,” it said.

For the assessment of mitigating circumstances, the former Bosnian Serb leader has also proposed to put forward as evidence the written statements of 12 witnesses, including his wife and daughter, about an alleged agreement he made with US diplomat Richard Holbrooke which Karadzic insists said that he would not be put on trial if he left politics completely.

“These witnesses speak about the alleged agreement between Holbrooke and Karadzic, according to which he would not be prosecuted if he withdraws from public life,” said the defence motion.

Karadzic’s trial will resume next week with statements from new defence witnesses.

Denis Džidić

This post is also available in: Bosnian