Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Krajisnik Looks for New Defense Lawyer

He apparently wants the attorney who acted for OJ Simpson to represent him in appeal proceedings.
Former Bosnian Serb politician Momcilo Krajisnik, recently sentenced to 27 years in prison for war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, is trying to find a new defense lawyer who would appeal against his conviction.

On September 27, Krajisnik was found guilty of extermination, murder, deportations, forcible transfer and persecution of non-Serbs in 34 municipalities in Bosnia, but he was acquitted of genocide charges.

The prosecution has already appealed against the judgement, because they say it was “inappropriately mild”. They are demanding a life sentence instead.

Krajisnik also announced he would file an appeal, but still hasn’t done it because he is currently looking for a lawyer who would do it on his behalf. He fired his British lawyer Nicholas Stewart after his conviction because he wasn’t satisfied with the way Stewart represented him in court during his trial.

At this week’s status conference held at the Hague tribunal, Colin Nicholls, a defense lawyer temporarily assigned to Krajisnik, announced that his client wants to be represented in the appellate proceedings by famous American attorney Alan Dershowitz, who successfully defended OJ Simpson against charges of double murder.

However, it is unclear whether Dershowitz will take over Krajisnik’s case, because he is reported to have some serious health problems.

If Dershowitz is unable to take this job, then Krajisnik wants to represent himself, Nicholls told the court.

But Judge Wolfgang Schomburg said that since accused are not allowed to represent themselves in the appellate proceedings, Krajisnik will in that case be represented by Nicholls.

The deadline for Krajisnik’s lawyer to file an appeal is February 5, 2007.

Merdijana Sadovic is IWPR’s Hague project manager.

As coronavirus sweeps the globe, IWPR’s network of local reporters, activists and analysts are examining the economic, social and political impact of this era-defining pandemic.


More IWPR's Global Voices