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

Lawyers Claim Stanisic Unfit for Trial

(TU No 442, 3-Mar-06)
By IWPR
Writing to judges on February 28, defence counsel Geert-Jan Alexander Knoops said a “debilitating intestinal disease” prevents Stanisic from preparing properly for the proceedings and would impair his ability to take part once they got underway.



He said Stanisic’s symptoms are exacerbated by stressful situations and are cyclical – a factor which explained an “unexpected decrease of his medical condition” following his provisional release from tribunal custody last November.



Knoops asked the judges to dismiss the charges against his client. Failing that, he urged them to convene a hearing to enable the defence to present medical evidence and other submissions on the matter.



Stanisic is charged with responsibility for crimes including murder and deportations in Bosnia and Croatia from 1991 to 1995. Prosecutors say he helped to organise, train and finance units which took part in fighting in both countries.