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

Kvocka And Radic Plead Not Guilty

Tribunal Update 72: Last Week in The Hague (13-18 April 1998)

As professional policemen, both Kvocka and Radic had held command positions at the camp, but on Tuesday, 14 April, both pleaded "not guilty" to all 11 charges relating to atrocities allegedly committed by the camp guards under their command. Moreover, Mladen Radic pleaded not guilty to 15 other charges related to an alleged rape of a female prisoner identified as "A."

Since the accused pleaded not guilty, a trial and presentation of evidence will follow. Prosecutor Michael Keegan informed Judge Almiro Simoes Rodrigues that he had requested from the President of the Court, Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, that their case be assigned to Trial Chamber II-bis (currently conducting the trial against Milan Kovacevic, accused of genocide against the non-Serb population of the Prijedor municipality).

Since the two cases "overlap to a large extent," the prosecution has proposed that the witnesses and victims be heard simultaneously before the same chamber so that they would not be required to come to The Hague repeatedly and reiterate their statements.

According to Keegan, for the time being, the prosecution has proposed only "concurrent presentation of the evidence" and it is up to the Trial Chamber to decide whether it will combine the two cases.

American lawyer Tom Moran, acting as a temporary defender of the accused Radic, opposed such a request, pointing out that the prosecutor "should not be allowed to choose before which chamber the presentation of evidence should take place." Judge Rodrigues opted to leave the decision on the prosecutor's request to President of the Court Kirk McDonald.

In any event, it is likely that the case of Zoran Zigic, the Detention Unit's newest inmate, will be combined with the cases of Kovacevic, Kvocka, and Radic for the sake of "economizing the procedure" and protecting the witnesses and victims from the trauma of multiple testimonies.