Goran Hadzic’s defense has originally filed a motion seeking provisional release for their client of at least three months. As the judges ponder the motion, the defense has filed a new motion for a short provisional release. The accused would use the time to prepare for a new round of chemotherapy for his brain tumor. The public has learned that Hadzic’s condition is incurable as the tumor is inoperable

Goran Hadzic in the courtroomGoran Hadzic in the courtroom

Goran Hadzic’s defense has again petitioned the Trial Chamber to grant provisional release to their client for a period of three weeks. As the lawyers state in their motion, the Chamber will have enough time to rule on the previous provisional release motion, filed on 22 January, and Hadzic will be able to prepare for a new round of chemotherapy for his brain tumor, set to begin on 26 February.

The nature of Hadzic’s disease has been officially revealed for the first time in the motion made public today. His lawyers state that the accused is ‘too sick’ to take part in his trial, and indeed, his condition is so bad that he is not a flight risk. The defense is hoping that the judges will rule on the current motion as swiftly as they did on the previous one, which was apparently rejected on 11 February, judging by the motion filed today. The defense is also hoping for a different decision, particularly in light of the report filed by experts who examined Hadzic’s medical records at the Trial Chamber’s behest.

The experts’ findings have not been made public, but there are some indications as to the nature of the illness in the document filed by the defense to corroborate the provisional release motion, submitted to the judges on 22 January.

According to the defense submission, the experts have concluded that Hadzic’s health is so bad that he will not be able to participate in the trial ‘by any modality’ in the four months of chemotherapy. If Hadzic were to participate in the trial, it would "be hazardous to his health" and would have a ‘negative’ impact on his treatment. The defense also notes that 67 to 75 per cent of patients with a similar condition as a rule die within 17 months to two years from the moment they are diagnosed. In November 2014, Hadzic was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain tumor.

The defense has referred to the decision on provisional release of Momir Talic, which states that it would be ‘unjust and inhumane to prolong his detention on remand until he is half-dead’. According to the defense, the defense case would continue for at least nine months after Hadzic’s treatment is completed, and it would take at least another 18 months for the judgment to be delivered.

In the original motion, the defense asked for 12 weeks of provisional release. Now it has modified the demand by urging the judges to consider granting a lengthier release, until at least May 2015. The health of the accused would then be reexamined by the medical doctors.

For the prosecution, the two cases, Talic and Hadzic, cannot compare. Hadzic’s trial is in the closing stages and there is a fair chance that it may be completed while the accused still lives. According to the prosecution, if the accused were to remain in custody, the Trial Chamber would be able to act ‘expeditiously’ and bring the trial to a close. The ‘chances’ that Hadzic might be able to participate in the proceedings ‘at least for a short while’ justify his continued detention. The prosecution also wants the experts to be questioned in court in order to dispel any doubts regarding their findings; the defense disagrees.