The accused contends that the admission in the present case of adjudicated facts and statements or transcripts of evidence from previous trials allows in ‘untested evidence’ that would influence the final decision to a ‘decisive extent’. The judges dismissed the claims of the accused as ‘wholly unfounded’

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroom
Radovan Karadzic in the courtroom

The Trial Chamber with Judge Kwon presiding dismissed as ‘wholly unfounded’ Radovan Karadzic’s motion for stay of proceedings for purported violation of fair trial because of the ‘cumulative effect’ of the judges’ decisions on judicial notice of adjudicated facts from other cases as well as the admission of statements or transcripts of previous evidence without cross-examination of witnesses.

In the motion, the judges concluded, Karadzic merely repeats the arguments he put forward in his submissions last year. He had invoked the abuse of process doctrine to support his demand for stay of proceedings because of his purported agreement with Holbrooke, and the admission of adjudicated facts and witness statements or evidence in other cases, involving the same crimes the former president of Republika Srpska is charged with.

Rejecting as ‘wholly unfounded’ the claim of the accused that the ‘untested evidence’ admitted in the present case through adjudicated facts and statements or transcripts would ‘to a decisive extent’ influence the final decision of the Trial Chamber, the judges noted that ‘until the final judgment is issued in this case, the parties can only speculate as to what evidence the Trial Chamber will admit, how that evidence will be evaluated, and what conclusions will be drawn from it’. Once the judgment is rendered, if the accused considers it is founded on ‘untested evidence’, he will have an opportunity to raise the issue in the appellate proceedings.

The prosecution will open its case at Radovan Karadzic trial next week with the evidence of victims of the ethnic cleansing in Sanski Most and Pale and with the testimony of a survivor of a Srebrenica execution site. The witnesses already testified against Slobodan Milosevic, Momcilo Krajisnik, Radoslav Brdjanin or at Srebrenica genocide trials. This time Karadzic will be able to test their evidence in the cross-examination.