A new problem for the Karadžić case

Several lawyers are offering reasons why ICTY judge Alphonse Orie should not preside over the trial of Radovan Karadžić: he was one of the counsels for the defence in the case of Duško Tadić, a soldier who was (at least formally) under Karadžić's command, and was the presiding judge in the case of Momčilo Krajišnik, a Karadžić associate convicted (but acquitted of genocide) in 2006. The Krajišnik case is particularly important, not only because of overlapping details but also because of the likelihood that Karadžić may call Krajišnik as a witness, and because Krajišnik is very likely to seek Karadžić's testimony for his own appeal. Edina Bećirević has the details of the discussion.


Anonymous said...

The Tribunal's/Orie's failure to find the mens rea of genocide proven in the Krajisnik case where Krajisnik's position in the Bosnian Serb leadership meant that he exercised control over the army and police, he was fully involved in decision-making and he was kept fully informed seemed perverse when they found the actus reus of genocide in the Bosnian municipalities identified in the charges to have been proven. It was almost as if the only evidence that would have satisfied the Tribunal would have been a signed confession.

Eric Gordy said...

Here I have to remain agnostic. A genocide conviction would be satisfying for political reasons, but the Tribunal is in an unusual position -- given the lack of jurisprudence they are having to develop their own standards of evidence. I understand the criticism of the narrowness of the standard that is being used, but also understand why the Tribunal is doing this. A lawyer might "hope for" further jurisprudence to develop the standard, but of course it would be insane to hope for more genocide!

Having said that, the argument for recusal seems to be sensible: if Orie's standard is going to be one of the issues of contention in the case, then it should be heard by a different judge.