Radovan Karadzic supports the joinder of his case and the case against Stojan Zupljanin and Mico Stanisic, saying that it would ‘make his defense easier’. The prosecution opposes the joinder; as they put it, it would ‘not serve the interest of justice, rights of the accused’ and would lengthen the proceedings

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

The prosecution and the accused Mico Stanisic object to Stojan Zupljanin’s motion to join the case against the RS police officials and the case of Radovan Karadzic. The former Bosnian leader supports the proposal.

In a motion containing just 210 words Karadzic said that the joinder of trials would facilitate his defense because he would be able to ‘share the burden’ with two other accused as he wouldn’t have to do everything alone. If the cases were joined, Karadzic went on to argue, defense witnesses would have to be called only once to give evidence.

Contrary to that, the prosecution argues that the joinder would not significantly decrease the duplication of evidence: the two indictments are focused on different issues. The witnesses in the case of Stanisic and Zupljanin will testify about the organization, structure and hierarchy of the RS MUP and about the crimes committed between 1 April and 31 December 1992. In Karadzic’s case, the focus is on political, civilian and military bodies involved in the crimes committed from 1992 to 1995.

In its reply, the prosecution indicated that Zupljanin failed to refer to the rules envisaging that the accused can call for the joinder if the prosecution wanted to try the accused separately. Not only would joinder fail to ‘serve the interest of justice and rights of the accused’, the prosecution noted, but it would just ‘extend the time needed for the trial to open’ and its duration.

As the prosecution noted, the case against Stanisic and Zupljanin will be far more complex if they are tried together with Karadzic. The proposed amended indictment against Karadzic requires ‘calling of more evidence, testimony from different witnesses and a longer trial’. If the cases were to be joined, a substantial part of evidence would have no relevance for Stanisic and Zupljanin, the prosecution concluded.