The Trial Chamber will look at the medical documents about Milan Babic’s mental health before he committed suicide in March 2006 at an in camera hearing, in the absence of the prosecution, the accused and the public. The aim of the Trial Chamber is to establish ‘if there is information in the documents relevant for the accused’ Radovan Karadzic

Milan Babic in the courtroomMilan Babic in the courtroom

Radovan Karadzic has filed a motion seeking the disclosure of the psychiatric and psychological findings regarding Milan Babic’s mental state in the Tribunal’s detention unit before his suicide in March 2006. In its response to the motion, the Trial Chamber decided to first establish at an in camera hearing – without the prosecution, the accused and the public – if the medical documents ‘contain information relevant for the accused’s case’. After that, Judge Kwon said, the Trial Chamber would decide if it would disclose the documentation to the accused.

In his motion, Karadzic argued that in a conversation with Milan Martic he learned about the psychiatric reports that purportedly confirmed Babic’s ‘personality disorder’. Martic, who is currently serving his sentence in a prison in Estonia, has been transferred to the Tribunal’s Detention Unit to give evidence in the defense of the former Republika Srpska president. Karadzic intends to use this diagnosis to contest the credibility of Babic’s evidence at the trials of Milosevic, Krajisnik and Martic. Parts of Babic’s testimony have been admitted into evidence as prosecution exhibits against the former Republika Srpska president.

The prosecution opposed Karadzic’s motion, arguing that it was based on Milan Martic’s ‘hearsay’. Martic was an ‘unreliable source and a convicted criminal with a history of contradictory statements about Milan Babic’, the prosecution emphasized.

Since Karadzic also invoked Judge Kevin Parker’s report on the enquiry into Babic’s death, the prosecutor quoted Parker’s conclusion. ‘There was no indication of any underlying pathology’, the report concluded. This, in the prosecutor’s view, runs counter to Martic’s and Karadzic’s allegations that Babic suffered from a ‘personality disorder’.