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Mladic Can Afford Some Defence Costs, Court Rules

Court registry sets amount after looking into defendant's financial situation.
By Rachel Irwin

The Hague tribunal registry decided this week that former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic has the means to contribute nearly 61,000 euro towards the cost of his defence team.

Mladic – like nearly all other defendants at The Hague – asked the tribunal to pay the full cost for his defence shortly after his arrest in May 2011, claiming that he did not have the money to pay for it himself.

The registry has now assessed his finances and reached a decision to deduct 60,992 euro from future payments made to his defence team. He is expected to contribute this amount; the rest to be covered by the tribunal.

In its decision, the registry stated that its method is first to calculate a defendant’s “disposable means”, which in this case includes ongoing pension payments to both Mladic and his wife, as well as equity in the “principal family home”. From that amount, it then deducts the living expenses of the defendant’s spouse and dependants.

Details of how the registry arrived at a precise figure are included in a confidential annexe that has not been made public.

Mladic will have to pay far less than his former boss Radovan Karadzic, who is also standing trial at the tribunal. In October 2012, the registry ordered the former Bosnian Serb president to contribute 146,501 euro towards the cost of his defence. (For more on that decision, see Karadzic Ordered to Contribute to Defence Fees).

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


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