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Karadzic Loses in Challenge to Appeals Process

Defendant argues that appeals institution designed to succeed tribunal wasn’t properly constituted. Judges disagree.
By Rachel Irwin

Judges at the Hague tribunal have rejected a request from former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic to dismiss the indictment against him.

Karadzic, who is representing himself, based the argument for his request around the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), the institution which will replace the Hague tribunal when it closes. Should he be convicted of the charges against him, any appeal would be handled by the MICT, not by the tribunal itself.

In his July 1 motion, the defendant argued that the United Nations Security Council lacked the jurisdiction to set up the MICT, that consequently “there is no legal entity to which Dr Karadzic can appeal”, and that the indictment “must be dismissed”.

Judges disagreed, stating that the MICT had been given a mandate to “conduct all appellate proceedings” after July 1, 2013. The MICT, they said, is required to interpret its founding statute “in a manner consistent with the jurisprudence” of both the Hague tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, whose appeals cases it will also handle.

“The chamber is satisfied that the accused will have the right to appeal the judgement to be rendered by this trial chamber to a legally-constituted tribunal, and does not consider that there is any uncertainty in that regard,” presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon wrote in the decision.

Rachel Irwin is IWPR’s Senior Reporter in The Hague.

 

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