ANTONETTI URGED TO "CONSIDER HIS OWN DISQUALIFICATION"
After he concluded yesterday that "fortunately" he was not on Seselj's list of "unwanted judges", Jean-Claude Antonetti, as the presiding judge in the trial of former Bosnian Croat officials, faced a new challenge today. The defense in that case demand that he apply the same procedure to this trial as is applied in other trials, or "to consider his own disqualification" in this case
Jean-Claude Antonetti, judge at the Tribunal
No sooner had he noted that he was “fortunately” not on Seselj's list of unwanted judges, Jean-Claude Antonetti, presiding judge in the trial of former Bosnian Croat officials, faced a new challenge today. The defense counsel demand that he apply the same procedure to this trial as is applied in other trials, or "to consider his own disqualification" in this case.
At the beginning of today's session, Michael Karnavas, Jadranko Prlic's American defense counsel, first apologized to the Trial Chamber for "raising his voice" yesterday. Explaining why he did that, Karnavas admitted he had been non-professional but added that he "was in no way ashamed of the contents" of what he had said.
This incident happened in closed session yesterday. The public was thus denied knowledge of the causes and details of the war of words between the attorney and the judges. However, from what Karnavas said today, it appears that he had complained about the manner in which judges questioned witnesses. The defense counsel had already complained about that.
Karnavas emphasized that, in the defense's view, the fairness of the trial was brought into question. It's "high time" the Trial Chamber applies the same procedure as that applied in other trials. He suggested that this issue be discussed at a special meeting with the ICTY President. "If you choose not to solve this problem,” Karnavas said to Antonetti, “then you should consider whether you can remain the presiding judge in this case or whether you should be disqualified from it".
The defense counsel of the other defendants joined Jadranko Prlic's defense counsel on the issue of "procedural justice" in this case.
Judge Antonetti said only that he had “no intention" of answering to Karnavas and ordered the session to continue.