The Appeals Chamber has granted Momcilo Krajisnik permission to tender into evidence Radovan Karadzic’ written statement instead of viva voce testimony, if he confirms that the statement is ‘correct and accurate’ and consents to be questioned by the prosecution and the judges. The prosecutor has been given only 90 minutes to cross-examine Karadzic on Wednesday.

Momcilo Krajisnik and Radovan KaradzicMomcilo Krajisnik and Radovan Karadzic

‘Krajisnik and Karadzic didn’t rule over Republika Srpska as if it were their personal fief…Karadzic never considered Krajisnik as his personal prime minister… Krajisnik was never the number two in Republika Srpska…he was not obsessed with the ethnic separation from Muslims and this was the Serb leadership’s policy.’

This is how Radovan Karadzic describes the role of appellant Momcilo Krajisnik in the Bosnian Serb political hierarchy and his wartime role in a statement prepared for the Appeals Chamber. Although Karadzic’s statement minimizes, in rather disparaging terms, the role of the president of Assembly in the Republika Srpska establishment, Krajisnik today asked that the statement be tendered into evidence instead of Karadzic’s viva voce testimony before the court. Krajisnik’s counsel for joint criminal enterprise issues, US lawyer Nathan Dershowitz explained the reasons behind Krajisnik’s request. Krajisnik, who is representing himself, would have to examine Karadzic personally and was ‘worried if he would be able to ask the witness all the relevant questions’ that have already been covered in the witness’s statement.

The prosecutor opposed the admission of Karadzic’s written statement instead of viva voce evidence, noting that the judges should hear the opinions and claims contained in the statement ‘from the witness’s mouth’ to be able to evaluate their authenticity. The Appeals Chamber nevertheless granted Krajisnik’s motion; Karadzic’s statement will be admitted into evidence provided that Karadzic confirms that it’s ‘correct and true’ on Wednesday and if he consents to be questioned by the judges and the prosecution. The prosecution has been given an hour and a half for the cross-examination of Radovan Karadzic, while defense counsel Dershowitz will have 45 minutes at his disposal to question him about the Trial Chamber’s findings on the existence of a joint criminal enterprise.

The public was excluded from the evidentiary hearing in the appellate proceedings of Momcilo Krajisnik today. In private session, the Appeals Chamber heard the testimony of George Mano and Stefan Karganovic, two former members of Krajisnik’s defense team which had been headed by English lawyer Nicholas Stewart during the trial.

In his appeal against the Trial Chamber’s judgment which sentenced him to 27 years in prison, Krajisnik claimed that he ‘didn’t have competent defense counsel’, and both Mano and Karganovic, former Stewart’s colleagues, confirmed this in their evidence in the appellate proceedings. The Appeals Chamber wanted to hear more about the conduct of Krajisnik’s former defense counsel and Mano and Karganovic were called as court witnesses to give evidence on the issue. Mano and Karganovic were examined today by the judges, prosecutor Peter Kremer, defense counsel Nathan Dershowitz and amicus curiae Colin Nicholls in ‘private session’. What they said and how they described Nicholas Stewart’s conduct will most likely be reflected in the Appeals Chamber’s judgment. Krajisnik often clashed with Stewart during the trial.