The appellate hearing on the prosecution’s appeal against the judgment acquitting Radovan Karadzic of genocide in the municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been scheduled for 17 April 2013

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

The Appeals Chamber with the American Theodor Meron presiding scheduled the hearing on the prosecution’s appeal against Radovan Karadzic’s judgment for Wednesday, 17 April 2013. After the prosecution rested its case Karadzic was acquitted of genocide in Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik.

The first of the prosecution’s four grounds of appeal pertains to the Trial Chamber’s conclusion that there was no genocide in the municipalities. The appeal notes that the evidence called in the prosecution’s case would lead a reasonable Trial Chamber to conclude that genocide was indeed committed in the municipalities and that Karadzic and other members of the joint criminal enterprise participated in it with a specific genocidal intent.

The second and the third ground of appeal deal with the genocidal intent of the accused. According to the prosecution, substantial evidence was presented to show that in the months before the conflict Karadzic made threats about the ‘physical destruction’ of Bosnian Muslims. Forces under Karadzic’s command implemented the threats in brutal actions which resulted in thousands of people who were killed, detained, beaten and raped and in the destruction of religious and cultural buildings to erase all traces of their existence there.

Finally, in the fourth ground of appeal, the prosecution contends that the Trial Chamber erred when it failed to analyze whether the genocidal intent was established within the framework of other modes of responsibility Karadzic is charged with, such as planning, ordering, instigating, aiding and abetting or failing to prevent crimes and punish their perpetrators.

According to the scheduling order, Judge Meron will first open the appellate hearing by addressing the parties. The prosecution and defense will then have an hour each to present their arguments. Karadzic’s legal advisor Peter Robinson will respond to the prosecution’s argument on behalf of Karadzic. It will then be the prosecution’s turn to respond. After that, at the very end of the hearing, Karadzic will have 10 minutes to address the judges.

The Appeals Chamber rejected Karazdic’s motion for the appellate hearing to be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina as ‘groundless’. Karadzic failed to show it was in the ‘interest of justice’ to depart from the usual practice of holding the hearings at the Tribunal, the Appeals Chamber found.

The Appeals Chamber that will hear the prosecution’s appeal are judges Meron, Patrick Robinson from Jamaica, Liu Daqun from China, Khalida Rachid Khan from Pakistan and Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov from Russia.