CARLA DEL PONTE DROPPED 25 COUNTS IN KARADZIC INDICTMENT
In May 2000 – in the hopes of his 'imminent arrest', the then chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte joined the two indictments against Radovan Karadzic into one, in order to be able to try him together with Momcilo Krajisnik who had come to the UN Detention Unit a month earlier
Photo of Radovan Karadzic from July, 2008
In two indictments issued by chief prosecutor Richard Goldstone against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic in July and November 1995, the pair are charged in a total of 36 counts with all the crimes within the Tribunal's jurisdiction: genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of laws and customs of war and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
In May 2000, the prosecution consolidated the two indictments against Radovan Karadzic, folding them into a single, compact document containing only 11 counts. The idea was to try him – in the even of his arrest – with Momcilo Krajisnik, who had been remanded in UN custody a month earlier. At the time, the prosecution believed – or hoped – that Karadzic could be arrested and transferred to The Hague 'any minute'. This is why – to avoid any publicity that might 'jeopardize the arrest of the accused'- the amended indictment was placed under seal, and was not made public until October 2002, when the hopes that the most wanted fugitive from international justice would be arrested soon evaporated.
Although 25 counts were dropped from the consolidated indictment, Radovan Karadzic is still charged with all the crimes in the Tribunal's jurisdiction. The first two counts charge him with genocide and complicity in genocide; five counts are for crimes against humanity, three for violations of laws and customs of war and one for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
The genocide charges do not pertain only to the mass executions in Srebrenica in July 1995, but also to the crimes committed in detention facilities in at least 17 municipalities in BH, from Prijedor and Sanski Most to Brcko, Visegrad, Zvornik and Foca.
In addition to genocide and complicity in genocide, Karadzic faces trial on charges of extermination, murder, persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, deportation, forcible transfer and other inhumane acts, terror campaigns against the civilian population using artillery fire and sniping in Sarajevo, hostage-taking and the use of hostages as human shields in May and June 1995.
All in all, although 25 counts were dropped, the consolidated indictment against Radovan Karadzic is by no means lighter than the previous two, but it will be much easier to prove – or challenge – the charges at the trial that the most wanted fugitive from international justice faces once he is transferred to The Hague.