Karadzic contends that former chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte might have been in a contempt of court when she disclosed to the US legal team the ‘confidential list’ of witnesses that Slobodan Milosevic wanted to examine in the defense case. However, witnesses’ names were known before Milosevic’s trial began, because Milosevic himself had personally made them public

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

Radovan Karadzic wants the Tribunal’s President to appoint a special chamber which would investigate, with the assistance of an amicus curiae prosecutor, whether former chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte was in contempt of court. Karadzic has presented a cable from the US embassy of 16 April 2004, and claims that Del Ponte disclosed confidential information relating to Slobodan Milosevic’s case, thus violating the Tribunal’s rules.

According to a cable published on the Wikileaks website, on 13 April 2004 Milosevic filed a confidential list of witnesses he wanted to examine in the defense case. The list included the US President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Secretary of Defense William Cohen, General Wesley Clark and ambassadors Christopher Hill and Richard Holbrooke. The cable notes that Del Ponte agreed to continue providing information on Milosevic’s motions related to the possible testimony of US citizens.

Although Karadzic says he has no legal grounds to claim that Milosevic’s rights were violated, Karadzic considers it his duty to inform the Tribunal’s President about the possible contempt of court. He also has a personal interest because he has been ordered to file the confidential revised witness list by 18 October 2013. If the prosecution can disclose confidential information on defense witnesses with impunity, Karadzic feels he cannot trust that his list will be protected.

It is interesting to note that the identities of the witnesses Milosevic wanted to call in his defense case were known before the trial began. For example, in January 2002 Milosevic’s legal advisors complained to the press that Milosevic had never been given the opportunity to read a list of 35 ‘hostile witnesses’ before the court. The list comprised Western statesmen, politicians and generals, notably Clinton, Albright, Solana and Clark.

Karadzic’s witness list for November and December is more or less definite. He intends to call his former associates, generals, and high-ranking VRS officers who have already been tried by the Tribunal or are, as in the case of Ratko Mladic, on trial for the same crimes. In addition to Mladic, Karadzic’s list includes Radoslav Brdjanin, Milomir Stakic, Zdravko Tolimir, Ljubisa Beara, Mico Stanisic, Vujadin Popovic and Radivoje Miletic. Who will actually appear in the witness stand will depend on the outcome of Tolimir’s appeal against the Trial Chamber’s subpoena compelling him to give evidence.