The defense of the former RSK president has asked for a review of the decision on pre-trial funding. The defense argues that Hadzic’s case should be reclassified as a case of ‘highest complexity’. He should therefore receive €340,000 instead of the amount of €192,000 it has been granted by the Registry

Goran Hadzic in the courtroomGoran Hadzic in the courtroom

Goran Hadzic, former prime minister of the Serb Autonomous District of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, has asked for a review of the decision made by the Tribunal’s Registry on the money to be made available to his defense in the pre-trial stage. The defense contends that Hadzic should receive €340,000 instead of €192, 000 it has been granted by the Registry.

The motion states that Hadzic’s case should be moved from its current category 2, which includes cases of ‘medium complexity’, as decided by the Registry, to category 3, ‘highest complexity’. Hadzic’s successor at the post of the RSK president, Milan Martic, was also classified as a category 2 case, and was sentenced to 35 years.

In support of its motion to reconsider the decision on the classification of Hadzic’s case, the defense has highlighted the large number of prosecution witnesses, requiring the defense to prepare for their cross-examination, the scope of the case both in terms of geography and time covered by the indictment, the expansion of the mode of responsibility the accused is charged with and the quantity of disclosed evidence. Hadzic is charged in 14 counts with crimes committed in Eastern Slavonia from June 1991 to the end of 1993.

The prosecution intends to call 107 witnesses, the defense says. This figure is similar to the number of witnesses in ‘complex cases’. It is higher by a third than the number of witnesses called in Martic’s case. The defense agrees that “multiple accused cases are more complicated than those involving sole accused”. Hadzic is alone in the dock but he nevertheless must prepare for the examination of all the witnesses. The defense also notes that in similar cases the pre-trial stage lasted three and a half years. In the case against Hadzic, this period was cut down to 14 months.

As the defense notes, 8,000 documents containing about 400,000 pages have been disclosed by the prosecution. The case is linked with five other cases, which are either completed or close to completion: this has significantly increased the volume of materials the defense has to go through as it prepares for the trial, the defense argues.

Lack of funding jeopardizes the ability of the defense to prepare adequately for the trial, tentatively set to begin on 16 October 2012, the defense claims in its motion. The defense has therefore asked for Hadzic’s case to be classified as a case of ‘highest complexity’ and to amend the decision on the money available to the defense accordingly.