Karadzic trial could begin in October 08 Sep 2009
A pre-trial Judge in the case against former President of the Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, has proposed 19 October 2009 as the date to begin trial proceedings.

Radovan KaradzicOn Tuesday 8 September 2009, Judge O-Gon Kwon proposed Monday 19 October 2009 as the provisional date to begin formal trial proceedings against Radovan Karadžić at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Karadžić was arrested a little over a year ago on 21 July 2008 after 11 years of evading justice and is charged with 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

According to Judge Kwon, the formal date to begin the long-awaited trial of Karadžić is dependent upon the resolution of all of the remaining filings before the Tribunal. Since his initial appearance before the ICTY on 31 July 2008, Karadžić, who is representing himself, has filed a multitude of motions on various issues, most notably concerning the ‘Holbrooke Agreement’ which Karadžić claims grants him immunity from prosecution.

The precise date for the start of the trial will be decided at a pre-trial conference scheduled for 6 October.


Objecting to the proposed date, Karadžić claimed that his case was the most complex in the Tribunal’s history and criticized the Prosecution for ambushing him with unnecessary material, warning that “this will not be a proper trial.”

At the same hearing, Judge Kwon rejected a Motion filed by Karadžić on 3 September seeking to delay the trial for 10 months to allow more time to prepare his defence. Setting out precise calculations in the Motion and deducing that the sheer scope of the case against him necessitates at least 22,145 hours of preparation – or the equivalent of 10.1 months – Karadžić stated that he had “no incentive to delay the trial unnecessarily” but “cannot look forward to a trial for which he has had no proper opportunity to prepare”. Karadžić stated that the Trial Chamber has the duty to avoid the injustice of a hasty trial, especially in the case of this “mega-trial”.

Despite Karadžić’s claims to the contrary, the Prosecution has trimmed the scope of its case against the Accused, reducing the number of crime bases and municipalities related to the charges in the Indictment, as well as the number of witnesses to 152.

Ratko Mladić

In setting the proposed date to commence the trial, Judge Kwon said that he expected proceedings to last around two and a half years, which would take the case beyond the 2010 deadline for completing first instance trial proceedings set by the UN Security Council. The Karadžić trial is expected to be allowed to continue beyond that date. Prosecutors at the ICTY are also still awaiting the arrest of Karadžić’s former general and co-accused, Ratko Mladić who remains at large.

Radovan Karadžić

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Court Documents / Documents juridiques

Defence Submission on Commencement of Trial
3 September 2009

Related News / Informations complémentaires

Karadžić refuses to enter a plea under new indictment

Karadžić refuse de plaider sur le dernier acte d'accusation contre lui