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War Crimes Court Denies Milosevic More Time

UN War Crimes Court Denies Milosevic Request for More Time to Argue His Case

New York, Dec 13 2005 2:00PM

Seeking to expedite the judicial process, the United Nations International Criminal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague today decided to deny former President Slobodan Milosevic’s request for more time to argue his case.

In a related decision, the court also denied a request by its most notorious suspect to sever the Kosovo indictment from the other charges, which deal with genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Croatia during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Citing the advice of medical experts, the ICTY also granted a request by Mr. Milosevic for a six-week rest and adjourned his case until 23 January 2006.

In making its decisions, the court noted that Mr. Milosevic has spent three-quarters of his time almost entirely on Kosovo-related evidence despite being warned that he needed to use it to address evidence in relation to all three indictments.

Mr. Milosevic, the ICTY said, had deliberately avoided addressing evidence on the Croatia and Bosnia parts of the case, “thus seeking to provide a foundation for a request for additional time.”

Anticipating that the conclusion of his allotted time will take the trial well into March 2006, the judges said rebuttal and rejoinder cases as well as concluding arguments would cause the trial hearings to continue until the middle of 2006. That would be followed by a “substantial” period of time to draft the judgment.

“The Trial Chamber’s fundamental obligation is to bring this trial to a fair and expeditious conclusion,” the court said, urging the former President of Yugoslavia to begin dealing with the Bosnia and Croatia indictments.


ENDS

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