UN War Crimes Tribunal Sabotages Karadzic's Defense
www.slobodan-milosevic.org -
November 18, 2009

Written by: Andy Wilcoxson

Former Bosnian-Serb president Radovan Karadzic is penniless. His financial assets were frozen by the international community years ago. As such he is unable to pay for his war crimes defense at the Hague Tribunal. He must therefore rely upon the Tribunal to pay the legal advisors assisting him with the preparation of his defense.

As of November 5th the Tribunal cut off funding and refuses to pay his legal advisors for the work they've already done. As a consequence of the Tribunal's refusal to pay them for their work, Karadzic's defense team stopped working on the 10th of November.

In a letter to the Tribunal, Karadzic's chief legal advisor, American defense attorney Peter Robinson wrote: "I was very disappointed to receive a copy of your letter to Dr. Karadzic dated 5 November 2009 in which you declined to pay in full for the work already performed by me and our defense team I do not accept to perform work on the case without assurances that I will be paid in full for that work - particularly in light of the refusal to pay for my work in full during the pretrial period."

By refusing to pay Radovan Karadzic's legal team for their work, the Tribunal is clearly trying to sabotage his defense. I seriously doubt that they've ever refused to pay the prosecution staff for their work. I would also venture to guess that they pay the prosecution staff considerably more than the 15 to 35 euros per hour they've allotted for Karadzic's legal defense team. What kind of lawyer can anybody hire for 35 euros ($52.06 USD) per hour anyway?

On one hand, the Tribunal is hot-to-trot to get the trial started even though Karadzic hasn't been given the same pre-trial preparation time that's been afforded to several high profile non-Serbian defendants (such as Delic, Haradinaj, and Gotovina who all got two years or more of pre-trial preparation time). At the same time, the Tribunal is obstructing Karadzic from preparing his defense by refusing to pay his legal advisors for their work.

It's high time people started questioning the work of this so-called "Tribunal" in The Hague. If Radovan Karadzic is guilty, what does anybody gain by railroading him to a conviction by means of an unfair trial? All that does is undermine the credibility of the verdict.

If he's guilty a fair trial would surely result in his conviction. The only conceivable reason the Tribunal has to resort to these kinds of underhanded tactics is that they don't want their case held-up to scrutiny. They know their case is weak, and they're afraid it couldn't survive a robust defense. That's why the prosecution changed the charges in the indictment after Karadzic's arrest. That's why they waited until ten months after his arrest to begin disclosing evidence to him. That's why they disclosed the evidence they did it in a chaotic way by burying the defense with a disorganized jumble of 1.3 million pages of documents and thousands of hours of audio and videotape. That's why the Tribunal won't let him have the pre-trial preparation time he needs even though they've afforded much more time to others, and that's why they've cut off the funding for his defense team. The Tribunal is exhibiting a pattern of behavior. Taken alone any of these aspects could be dismissed as simple incompetence, but taken together they betray evidence of a plan to sabotage Karadzic's defense.

Radovan Karadzic is locked-up in prison right now, even if he's guilty, how would justice be cheated by letting him prepare a proper defense? If he's convicted all they're going to do is keep him in prison. It's not like he's getting away with anything while he's sitting in prison. The Tribunal doesn't care about justice, their goal is to convict the defendant and they'll do it by any means necessary.

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