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Lawyers Formally Appointed To Defend Miloševic

British Lawyers Formally Appointed To Defend Miloševic At Un War Crimes Tribunal

The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today formally appointed British lawyers Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins as counsel for former Yugoslav President Slobodan Miloševic, who is facing trial for genocide and other war crimes.

John Hocking, Deputy Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), assigned Mr. Kay as lead counsel and Ms. Higgins as co-counsel, a day after an order to that effect was issued by the judges conducting the trial of Mr. Miloševic.

The ICTY decided to impose the counsel yesterday to ease the workload of the defendant, who is suffering from heart problems, and reduce the chance of further delays in the already long-running trial. Mr. Miloševic had been representing himself since the trial started in February 2002 and at least 66 court days have been lost so far.

The ICTY ruled today that Mr. Kay and Ms. Higgins have a duty to present Mr. Miloševic's case, prepare and examine any witnesses they consider appropriate, make submissions, request subpoenas and discuss the case with the defendant.

The judges further ruled that Mr. Miloševic may still, on occasion with permission, examine witnesses himself. He may also apply to appoint his own counsel.

Mr. Miloševic is facing charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes for his role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo during the 1990s. His trial is due to resume on Tuesday.

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