Radovan Karadzic has asked for the disclosure of Milan Babic’s mental health reports because he wants to confirm that Babic suffered from ‘personality disorder’, in a bid to discredit Babic’s testimony. Parts of the statement made by the former Krajina Serb leader were admitted into evidence in Karadzic’s case

Milan Babic in the courtroomMilan Babic in the courtroom

Former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic has asked the Trial Chamber to order the disclosure of the mental health reports on the former Krajina Serb political leader Milan Babic. According to the accused, the findings are relevant for the assessment of Babic’s credibility. Babic’s testimony was admitted into evidence during the prosecution’s case at Karadzic’s trial.

Immediately after he was indicted in 2003, Milan Babic surrendered voluntarily to the Tribunal. He pleaded guilty to the crime of persecution and was sentenced to 13 years. Babic testified at the trials of Slobodan Milosevic, Momcilo Krajisnik and Milan Martic. While he was testifying at Martic’s trial in March 2006, Milan Babic committed suicide in the Detention Unit.

Milan Martic, former president of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, had in the meantime been sentenced to 35 years for crimes against Croatian civilians in Krajina from 1991 to 1995. On 22 February 2013, Martic was transferred from a prison in Estonia, where he is serving his sentence, to the Tribunal’s Detention Unit in The Hague to give evidence as Karadzic’s defense witness.

In his preparatory interview with Karadzic’s legal advisor Peter Robinson, Martic said that as far as he knew Babic was diagnosed with a ‘personality disorder’, Karadzic explained in his motion. This ‘could undermine’ Babic’s credibility. Karadzic asked the OTP and the Registry to disclose all available documents on Babic’s mental health to him.

In his motions, Karadzic claimed Judge Kevin Parker’s report following his enquiry into Babic’s death may lead to the conclusion that Babic had undergone psychological and psychiatric examinations during his stay in the Tribunal’s Detention Unit. The prosecution responded to Karadzic that it was not in possession of any such documents. The Registry refused to hand over the documents to Karadzic for inspection, stating that the details of the medical conditions of persons indicted by the Tribunal were confidential. This prompted Karadzic to address the Trial Chamber with a motion to order the Registry to disclose the psychological and psychiatric documents to him, “in the interest of justice’.