Radovan Karadzic’s Final Verdict Expected in December
The UN court in The Hague said it plans to hand down the final verdict in December this year in the trial of former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic, who is appealing against his initial conviction for genocide and other wartime crimes.
At a status conference in the Radovan Karadzic case at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals in The Hague on Wednesday, presiding judge Theodor Meron said the plan was that the final verdict will be handed down in December.
The first-instance verdict in 2016 – against which both Karadzic and the Hague prosecutors have appealed – sentenced the former Bosnian Serb political leader to 40 years in prison for genocide in Srebrenica in 1995, the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats, terrorising the population of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.
Karadzic was acquitted of committing genocide in 1992 in seven other Bosnian municipalities, however.
In his appeal, Karadzic requested a new trial, claiming procedural flaws in the first-instance trial and arguing that incorrect conclusions were made by the judges.
The prosecutors’ appeal asks for Karadzic to be sentenced to life in prison, and convicted of the 1992 genocide charges.
Karadzic’s lawyer Peter Robinson asked at Wednesday’s status conference if judge Meron could give a bit more information about the date of the final verdict, to which the judge replied that he could not, but said there was “a plan” for it to be handed down in December.
Karadzic told the status conference that he felt well and that his back was no longer causing him problems, and thanked judge Meron for the provision of a laptop which meant he no longer had to sit “uncomfortably, using a desktop computer”.
Meron said that Karadzic’s request to use Skype to communicate with his family will soon be granted.
According to Meron, the UN detention centre in Scheveningen where Karadzic and other Hague defendants are held will also soon solve its problem with allowing “Balkan specialties”.
Karadzic said the food issue was problematic because “almost nobody in prison eats the main meal because of cultural differences”.
The former Bosnian Serb political leader was arrested in Serbia and transferred to The Hague in 2008.
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