Radovan Karadzic has asked for yet another suspension of his trial for one month before the prosecution starts calling evidence on his role in the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

Former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic has asked for another suspension of the trial for one month before the prosecution calls the first witnesses who will testify about the crimes in Srebrenica in 1995. Karadzic contends that the seventh suspension of the trial to date is necessary because he needs to review ‘hundreds of thousands’ pages of documents related to the events in Srebrenica which the prosecution has disclosed to him with delay.

The motion goes on to say that the Trial Chamber has already established that the prosecution showed ‘systematic delay’ in disclosing documents. In December 2010, January and March 2011 the prosecution was late disclosing 12,392 documents, 22 videos and 248 various evidentiary materials about Srebrenica. In the course of the year, the defense received hundreds of other documents, including thousands of pages of transcripts of the witness testimony from the trial of Zdravko Tolimir, who also faces charges for genocide in Srebrenica.

Karadzic notes that the time the Trial Chamber has granted him to review the documents disclosed late is not sufficient for him to be able to deal with the ‘Srebrenica materials’. In his motion, Karadzic states that the defense has ‘simply put aside without reviewing’ the documents about Srebrenica in order to focus on other materials that were relevant for the prosecution’s case about the BH municipalities.

The prosecution is close to completing its case on the persecution and ethnic cleansing of the non-Serbs in 20 BH municipalities and will then embark on the final stage, when it will call evidence on Karadzic’s responsibility for genocide in Srebrenica. The prosecution has about 100 hours to do it. If there are no further delays, the prosecution may well be able to rest its case by the Tribunal’s summer recess in July 2012.