Since he plans to comply with all ‘orders and instructions of the Trial Chamber’, in Radovan Karadzic’s view it is not necessary to extend his stand-by counsel’s term of office. The prosecution argues in favor of retaining the stand-by counsel because it would guarantee the smooth continuation of the trial until its end and would act as a safeguard against any obstructions of the accused

Richard Harvey has been appointed as defence lawyer of Radovan KaradzicRichard Harvey has been appointed as defence lawyer of Radovan Karadzic

As the trial of Radovan Karadzic draws to a close, Judge Kwon’s Trial Chamber invited the parties to submit their opinions on the extension of the stand-by counsel’s appointment. British lawyer Richard Harvey was appointed to follow the trial and to step in to represent Karadzic if Karadzic continued obstructing the proceedings as he had done at the beginning of the trial.

In his response to the Trial Chamber, the accused briefly stated that there was no need for the stand-by counsel’s further involvement. Karadzic plans to observe the ‘Trial Chamber’s orders and instructions as he has done in the course of the trial so far’.

The prosecution argues that Harvey should definitely not be dismissed. As the trial draws to its close, there is still a ‘risk’ that Karadzic may engage in ‘tactical obstruction’, the prosecution claims. For example, the prosecution notes the accused may decide to boycott the calling of additional evidence if the Trial Chamber decides to reject his request for the extension of the defense case. The Trial Chamber has recently ‘expressed its concern’ over the way in which the accused has used – or wasted – the time allotted to him. The judges have made it perfectly clear to Karadzic that he would not get a minute more than the 325 hours he has been granted for his case. Karadzic has about 60 hours left but the list of remaining witnesses is rather long.

The prosecution believes that Harvey should continue as the stand-by counsel, and, as the judges stated in their relevant decision, ‘be ready to examine the witnesses on behalf of the accused and represent his interests at any moment if the Trial Chamber determines it to be necessary’. The prosecution recalls that a similar situation occurred at the end of the prosecution case, when the Trial Chamber ruled that the stand-by counsel should remain in place to avoid delays in the trial.

Defense counsel Harvey submitted his brief, noting that he has taken all the necessary steps to keep abreast of the developments at Karadzic’s trial and has been ready to step in as the legal counsel of the accused.

Former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic is charged with genocide and other crimes against non-Serbs in BH. Karadzic’s defense case continues next week.