The prosecution sought leave from Judge Kwon’s Trial Chamber to appeal against the judgment acquitting Karadzic of genocide in a number of BH municipalities. At the same time, the prosecution indicated it would petition the Appeals Chamber to quash the acquittal, even if it is not granted leave to do so

Alan Tieger, prosecutor at the Radovan Karadzic's trialAlan Tieger, prosecutor at the Radovan Karadzic's trial

The prosecution will appeal against the acquittal of Radovan Karadzic on Count 1 in the indictment that was charging him with genocide in 1992 in seven BH municipalities: Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik.

The judgment was rendered last week under the Tribunal’s Rule 98 bis, which allows the Trial Chamber to acquit an accused after the prosecution has rested its case on those counts in the indictment the prosecution has failed to prove to an extent that would support a conviction if uncontested. In Karadzic’s case, the Trial Chamber concluded that the crimes that are in themselves elements of genocide – murder, inflicting grave physical and mental injuries, forcible transfer of population and imposing inhuman conditions in prison facilities – didn’t ‘in their nature, scale and context’ reach a level that could lead the judges to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that they were committed with an intent to annihilate the Bosnian Muslims and/or Croats entirely or in part as an ethnic or religious group.

Today, the prosecution submitted to Judge Kwon’s Trial Chamber a motion seeking leave to appeal, indicating at the same time that regardless of the outcome of its motion, it will petition the Appeals Chamber to quash the acquittal. The only reason why the prosecution sought leave from the Trial Chamber to appeal is to forestall any decision of the Appeals Chamber that a Rule 98 bis judgment cannot be appealed directly without a prior leave from the Trial Chamber which handed down the contested judgment.

In its motion, the prosecution states that when the Trial Chamber acquitted Karadzic on Count 1 in the indictment, it has made several errors in law and in fact by ‘applying additional elements which do not fall within the definition of genocide, incorrectly applying elements of genocide and of joint criminal enterprise liability and failing to apply the correct Rule 98bis standards to assess the evidence”.