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

Two More Defendants Want to Conduct Their Own Cases

Defendant Zdravko Tolimir says his lawyer was placed under “undue pressure”.
By Merdijana Sadović
Bosnian Serbs Zdravko Tolimir and Milan Lukic are the latest addition to a growing list of Hague indictees who wish to represent themselves in court.

On August 6, they both filed requests for permission to exercise this right.

Tolimir, who is charged in relation to the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, informed the court that he had decided to represent himself in court since his legal counsel of choice, Belgrade attorney Nebojsa Mrkic, had been put under what he called “undue pressure”.

In his submission of August 6, Tolimir said the candidate for his permanent counsel was even “called to the office of the Chief Prosecutor [Carla Del Ponte] for a talk”, which he said was “without legal precedent”.

“Due to all these facts, I have decided to defend myself in person,” Tolimir concluded.

Meanwhile, Milan Lukic - who is charged with crimes against Bosniak population in the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad in 1992 - informed the court that he is “currently unrepresented” since withdrawing power of attorney from counsel Alan Yatvin.

He added that if ongoing “talks in connection with the appointment of another counsel” end without results, “I will have to represent myself”.

More IWPR's Global Voices

Amid Pandemic, Cuban State Curbs Its Entrepreneurs
The crackdown on street vendors selling basic goods means people have to join long queues in government-run shops.
Cuba's Elderly Work Through the Pandemic
Cuba Slow to Act Over Domestic Abuse