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Karadzic Ordered to Contribute to Defence Fees

Court registry calculates payment after investigating defendant’s finances.
By Rachel Irwin

The Hague tribunal registry this week ordered wartime Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic to pay more than 140, 000 euro towards the cost of his defence.

The sum of 146, 501 euro will be deducted from future payments to Karadzic’s legal advisors and the remainder will be borne by the tribunal, the October 10 decision stated.

The tribunal registry has been investigating Karadzic’s finances since September 2008, when he submitted a “declaration of means” claiming that he did not have the money to cover the cost of his defence.

While Karadzic represents himself in the courtroom, he has paid legal advisors and investigators who assist him.

When reached for comment, Karadzic’s legal advisor Peter Robinson reiterated that his client “doesn't have any money to pay for his defence”.

“We will appeal the registrar's decision and see what happens,” he told IWPR.

Because the decision contained a confidential annexe, it is unclear how the registry settled on the precise figure, though the decision cited several complicated mathematical formulas.

The registry stated that it first calculates the “disposable means” of the defendant – which includes pension payments to a spouse and equity in stock or bonds – and from that amount deducts the living expenses of the defendant’s spouse and dependants.

In this case, the registry said it did not count Karadzic’s two homes in Bosnia, “family vehicles”, or publication royalties as part of his disposable income, though the reasons for this remain confidential.

Prosecutors allege that Karadzic, the president of Bosnia's self-declared Republika Srpska from 1992 to 1996, is responsible for crimes of genocide, persecution, extermination, murder and forcible transfer which "contributed to achieving the objective of the permanent removal of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory".

He is also accused of planning and overseeing the 44-month siege of Sarajevo that left nearly 12,000 people dead, as well as the massacre of some 7,000 men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995. Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade in July 2008 after 13 years on the run.

The prosecution rested its case against him in May 2012 and his defence case is set to begin next week, on October 16.

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