Briefly Noted

(TU No 353, 16-Apr-04)

Briefly Noted

(TU No 353, 16-Apr-04)

Wednesday, 16 November, 2005

The most famous Hague indicate Slobodan Milosevic intends to call the former US president Bill Clinton and the British prime minister Tony Blair to testify as witnesses in the defence part of his trial, the BBC reported quoting one of Milosevic’s legal advisers.


Tribunal representatives refused to confirm that Milosevic asked the two statesmen to testify, explaining that the list of witnesses was confidential until finally approved by the judges. They did, however, confirm that the list, which Milosevic filed this week, includes a record 1631 names - more than five times as many as the prosecution called during the two years it had to present its case.


According to Milosevic’s legal adviser, the list also includes the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and the former UK foreign secretary Robin Cook.


It is, however, still not more than a proposal - according to the tribunal’s rules, the final word on which of the witnesses called by the defence would appear and how much time they would be given to testify rests with the judges trying the case.


The judges are now considering the matter, tribunal spokesman Jim Landale said, declining to give any indication of when they would reach a decision.


In a parallel development, the tribunal has confirmed the appointment of the Scottish judge Lord Bonomy as a replacement for Judge Richard May – the former presiding judge in Milosevic case, who recently resigned due to health problems. Lord Bonomy will joint the panel of judges in the Milosevic case, but not necessarily as a presiding judge.


Before he can take his place on the bench, the new judge will have to confirm that he has familiarised himself with the case – this means going through some 32,000 pages of courtroom transcripts and thousands of pages of written evidence submitted during the prosecution phase of the trial. According to the tribunal’s spokesman, Lord Bonomy has already arrived at The Hague and started going through the case.


Last month, the tribunal convened a special session to request Milosevic’s consent for the trial to continue with a new judge, but the former Yugoslav president refused to respond. This was interpreted as a refusal, so it is now up to the appeals chamber to decide whether the defendant will be granted a retrial or the trial will continue with a new judge.


KRAJISNIK BACK IN COURT


After a six-week recess, proceedings in the case against Bosnian Serb political leader Momcilo Krajisnik resumed this week, with four days’ of cross-examination of prosecution witness Patrick Treanor.


Treanor, who heads the prosecutor’s research team, was questioned about a report he prepared concerning the structure of the Serbian Democratic Party, of which Krajisnik, the former president of the Bosnian Serb parliament, was a prominent member.


Much of Treanor’s testimony concerned Krajisnik’s position in the Bosnian Serb hierarchy. The defendant and Radovan Karadic were the “two most important civilian, political leaders” in the Bosnian Serb chain of command, Treanor said.


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