UN tribunal unseals indictment against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic
The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has unsealed its indictment against Radovan Karadzic, charging the former Bosnian Serb leader with only the most serious counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
A Tribunal judge ordered on Friday that the indictment against Mr. Karadzic be unsealed following a request from the Office of the Prosecutor, the UN court said today.
In May 2000, the Prosecutor consolidated the charges contained in two earlier indictments against Mr. Karadzic, reducing their total number and leaving only the most serious counts. The move was taken because, in the Prosecutor's view, “the amendments were more in keeping with the current charging practices of the Office of the Prosecutor and reflected the evolving jurisprudence of the Tribunal,” the court said.
Moreover, the Prosecutor believed the amended indictment would allow her Office to move more quickly to trial if Mr. Karadzic was arrested. It also facilitates joinder of his case with other indictments against the Bosnian Serb political leadership, according to the Tribunal.
Mr. Karadzic is charged with one count each of genocide, complicity in genocide, and wilful killing as grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. He is also accused of five counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of violations of the laws or customs of war.
Mr. Karadzic was first charged, along with Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic, in 1995 with 16 counts of genocide and other war crimes, including the taking of UN peacekeepers as hostages in Sarajevo and using them as human shields. Later that November, the Prosecutor filed a second indictment against both leaders, charging Mr. Karadzic with another 21 counts, including murder.
The amended indictment does not affect the charges against General Mladic.