Former Republika Srpska president has urged the Trial Chamber to reject the prosecution’s motion to re-open its case in order to call evidence on the mass grave in the Tomasica mine near Prijedor. Karadzic has not opposed the prosecution’s motion seeking leave to rebut some of the defense’s evidence on the crimes in five BH municipalities

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

Although Radovan Karadzic is aware of the importanceof the discovery of the mass grave in the Tomasica mine near Prijedor, he nevertheless opposesthe prosecutions motion to call evidence about it now, at his trial. Today Karadzic submitted his motion to Judge Kwon's Trial Chamber, opposing the prosecutions motion to be allowed to re-open its case and present the testimony of several experts and the evidence on the exhumation and identification of the bodies from Tomasica.

Explaining the reasons for his opposition, Karadzic said the investigation of the mass grave discovered in September 2013 was still incomplete. Three of the five witnesses the prosecution intends to call arent ready yet, the identification of the bodies is only partially finishedand the report on the causes of death of the recovered bodies hasnt yet been drafted, Karadzic explained. This is why, as Karadzic notes in his motion, the nature and scope of the correlationof evidence from Tomasica and the criminal responsibility of the accused remain inconclusive.

Karadzic has also raised the issue of whether the prosecution had in fact had at its disposal the Tomasica evidence during the presentation of its case. Under the Tribunals rules, that would prevent the prosecution from presenting the evidence now. As Karadzic also notes in his motion, the prosecution had been aware at an earlier stage that some bodies were buried in Tomasica, that some bodies were found there between 2004 and 2006, and that the remains of the bodies that had been buried in Tomasica and then dug up were found in the Jakarina Potok mass grave. Because of purported omissions in the prosecutions disclosure of evidence, Karadzic now cannot be certain if the prosecution had had some information about that mass grave before September 2013.

The only thing that can safely be said, the defense argues, is that 62 bodies exhumed in Tomasica were identified after the prosecution had rested its case. It is still unclear how those victims died, whether in combat or in detentionand if they were victims of the crimes Karadzic is charged with.

For all those reasons, the defense opposes the re-opening of the prosecutions case as long as the investigation of the Tomasica grave remains incomplete, and until the prosecution has fulfilled its obligation to disclose the evidence it has related to the grave.

In a separate motion Karadzic stated that he didnt oppose the prosecutions second motion seeking leave to rebut the defenses evidence on the adjudicated facts pertaining to the municipalities of Bijeljina, Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc and Prijedor in the next stage of the trial. The defenses only condition is that the first prosecutions witnesses should begin their evidence 30 days after the prosecution has disclosed all the materials.