UN court rejects Karadzic immunity as final ruling

Judges at the Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal rejected former Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic's claims of immunity

UN court rejects Karadzic immunity as final ruling

Judges at the Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal rejected on Tuesday former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's claims of immunity as well as an appeal to delay the start of his war crimes trial next week.

Karadzic faces 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, including two counts of genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Arrested last year and brought to the Hague-based U.N. tribunal after 11 years on the run, he has demanded all charges be dropped on the grounds that former U.S. peace mediator Richard Holbrooke had offered him immunity in 1996 if he left public life. Holbrooke has repeatedly denied this.

Karadzic, who is representing himself, had also argued that starting the trial this month did not leave him enough time to prepare and asked for a 10-month delay.

The court denied the extension, but said it would grant Karadzic one week to prepare for trial after prosecutors file an annotated indictment explaining the charges against him, which is due before Oct. 19.

Depending on when prosecutors submit the marked-up indictment, that means the trial could start as early as the court's scheduled date of Oct. 21 or as late as Oct. 26.

Tuesday's earlier ruling by five appeals judges also confirmed a July verdict that denied Karadzic's motion to have the charges against him dropped.

"Even if the alleged agreement were proved, it would not limit the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, it would not otherwise be binding on the Tribunal and it would not trigger the doctrine of abuse of process," the judges said in their ruling.

The appeals ruling is final and brings an end to attempts by Karadzic, who is representing himself, to have the case dismissed because of the alleged deal with Holbrooke.

But the court said Karadzic may still present evidence during the trial supporting the alleged agreement as it could still affect any possible sentence.


Last Mod: 13 Ekim 2009, 23:37
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