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Karadzic Seeks Investigation Into Hague Prosecutors

Defendant argues that prosecution broke rules regarding disclosure of evidence.

Wartime Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic is asking for members of the Hague tribunal prosecutor’s office to be investigated for “failing to disclose all exculpatory evidence and falsely certifying that they had done so”.

Karadzic, whose trial is complete save for closing arguments, argues that the prosecution certified in 2012 that all exculpatory – and possibly exonerating – material had been disclosed.

However, he cites several instances where material was disclosed later than that date, and after previous deadlines set by judges.

For example, he states that in November 2013, the prosecution revealed that it had provided “benefits to certain prosecution witnesses.” The bench, Karadzic notes, found that the prosecution had “violated its disclosure obligations”.

He goes on to describe five other instances between January and May this year – well after the 2012 certification – when the prosecution disclosed what he considers to be exculpatory evidence.

The prosecution, Karadzic claims, “has provided varying explanations” for the disclosure violations, including that the material was discovered in searches relating to other cases, and that some of it was not in fact exculpatory. In other instances, the prosecution stated that delayed disclosure was simply a result of human error.

“These claims are impossible to verify absent an investigation,” Karadzic states in his May 19 request. “If the prosecution has acted in good faith, as it claims, it has nothing to fear from an investigation.”

He requests that Judge Theodor Meron, as president of the mechanism that takes over the tribunal’s work as it winds down, appoint an independent figure known as an amicus curiae or “friend of the court” to investigate whether the prosecution “wilfully interfered with the administration of justice.”

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

 

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