Today, Radovan Karadzic has filed an appeal to the UN’s Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals against his conviction by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in March this year.
The 238-page appeal “details 48 substantive and procedural errors” that led to an incorrect verdict, according to a statement issued by Karadzic’s lawyer Peter Robinson.
“Unless corrected, flawed trials and unjust judgments like mine will only accelerate the flight of countries such as South Africa and Russia from an international legal system that is politicised and based on double standards,” Karadzic said in the statement.
“It will also ruin the chance for international justice to succeed in the long term by establishing legal precedents based on short-term political expediencies,” the former Bosnian Serb political leader added.
Karadžić was charged with responsibility for atrocities including the siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men in the Srebrenica enclave. Continue reading
This week, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) launched its first online exhibition entitled A Glimpse into the Archives.
The purpose of this exhibition is to allow the general public to contextualize, access, and understand the value of the archives of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda (ICTR) and for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which are now in the custody of the Mechanism.
The exhibition features a selection of interesting items to illustrate the diversity of the records in the archives. The items include photographs of artefacts used as evidence in court, drawings made by witnesses, and an extract from a historic trial judgement.
The exhibition aims to create an interactive experience. Each image has descriptive details and links to databases where other records can be found.
This exhibition is an opportunity to reflect on the many facets these records have: they document the judicial process while also depicting specific events that are part of larger contexts. The archives also help make tangible the complexity of the events that took place in Rwanda and in the former Yugoslavia.
The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) delivered its judgment of the appeals in the trial of The Prosecutor vs. Nyiramasuhuko et al. (Butare Case) on the 14th of December in the Courtroom of the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania.
This is the final judgment issued by the Tribunal, which was established by the UN Security Council in 1994 with the mandate to try those responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and neighbouring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994.
The appeal was lodged by Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, Sylvain Nsabimana, Alphonse Nteziryayo, Joseph Kanyabashi, Élie Ndayambaje, and the Prosecution. The six accused in the case were, on 24 June 2011, variously convicted of crimes of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for their role in crimes committed against Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. Continue reading
The United Nations Mechanisms for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) has rejected a request from former Bosnian Army General Naser Orić’s lawyers to order the Bosnian state court to stop the case against him because he has already been acquitted of the charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
The lawyers argued that Orić cannot stand trial for the same crimes twice.
Judge Liu Daqun said in his decision that Orić was acquitted by the ICTY of command responsibility for the killings of one Serb at the Srebrenica police station and six others in the local municipality building.
However the charges in Bosnia allege he personally killed one Serb in the village of Zalazje and took part in the killings of two other Serbs in Bratunac along with another Bosnian Army fighter.
“I note that in the present case, the murder charges in the Bosnian indictment fundamentally differ from the murder charges in the Hague indictment with respect to the alleged victims and the nature, time and location of the alleged crime,” said the judge.
The Bosnian court recently said that Orić’s trial will open once the MICT reaches its decision.
Naser Orić’s defense lawyers have called on the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals to order the termination of the proceedings against their client. The charges against him were brought before the State Court in Sarajevo
The defense of Naser Orić, who was tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), has asked Theodor Meron, the president of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, to appoint a panel of judges which would order the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) State Court to terminate the proceedings against the former BH Army commander in Srebrenica.
In the motion, the defence has invoked Article 7 of the Mechanism’s Statute, which stipulates that ‘no person shall be tried before a national court for acts constituting serious violations of international humanitarian law under the present Statute for which he or she has already been tried by the ICTY, the ICTR, or the Mechanism’. Orić’s defense has also invoked the Rules of Procedure which stipulate that if the president of the Mechanism receives reliable information that proceedings have been instituted before a national court against a person who has already been tried before one of the international tribunals, the president should issue a ‘reasoned order’ to ‘permanently terminate’ the proceedings. Continue reading
“We are at a critical stage in the transition of international criminal justice. The primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting international crimes no longer lies with ad hoc tribunals like the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); rather that responsibility has shifted to national authorities.”
This is the first sentence of the foreword accompanying a manual released on 10 February by the Prosecutor of the ICTR and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow, sharing his office’s experience in securing the referral of ten genocide indictments to national jurisdictions for trial.
1998. The trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu begins. With this case, the ICTR becomes the first international tribunal to enter a judgement for genocide and the first to interpret the definition of genocide set forth in the 1948 Geneva Conventions. ©ICTR
According to Mr. Jallow, the shift to primacy of national prosecutions is reflected in the Rome Statute’s principle of complementarity, as well as in the establishment of the MICT, which makes the referral of cases to national jurisdictions a priority in the completion of the ad hoc tribunals’ remaining work.
The 57-page long manual, “Complementarity In Action”, shares lessons learned from the ICTR Prosecutor’s referral of international criminal cases to national jurisdictions for trial. The Office of the Prosecutor’s (OTP) experiences provide useful lessons for other international courts and tribunals seeking to refer international criminal cases to national jurisdictions. They also provide valuable lessons for national jurisdictions seeking to establish their own ability to fairly prosecute international crimes at the domestic level. Continue reading