Published time: October 26, 2009 07:02
Edited time: October 27, 2009 05:45
As the trial of former Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic gets underway at The Hague Tribunal, a member of Karadzic’s defense team, Goran Petronijevic, said in an interview with RT that he has little hope for a fair trial.
RT: Thank you very much for joining us here on RT. You’ve just returned from The Hague, where you met with Mr. Karadzic. How is he doing in prison?
Goran Petronijevic: Yes, of course, I see him whenever I’m there, I see him almost every working day. This last time, we spoke a lot about our preparation for the appeal.
RT: Nobody in Serbia thinks he’ll get a fair trial at The Hague. Do you think he will?
GP: Certainly, the conditions that the Tribunal gave us, from the very beginning, were more than unfair. Because, unlike us, they had 13 years to prepare the indictment and they have access to unlimited resources and materials. We don’t have that. Only in August this year did we receive approval to have a whole team and only then did we begin to work properly. We will need at least a year to do the whole thing right and to answer the indictment as we think we should. It’s really unfair. And it’s inexplicable why such a rush -why set a trial when nothing is ready yet? Maybe the reason is that the Tribunal is legal only until 31 December, 2010. So what happens after that? If they are in such a rush because of their legal and time limitations, does this mean that this trial will be even more unfair because they have less time? At the end of December, a new resolution from the Council of Safety will be needed so that the Tribunal can continue working. Without that new resolution, the Hague Tribunal will cease to exist. So the destiny and the duration of Hague Tribunal are connected with the decision of Security Council. If any of the members give a veto it will cease to exist. And if the Hague tribunal ceased to exist, then they would need to hand over all their cases, including Mr. Karadzic’s, to national courts – whether in Belgrade, Zagreb or Sarajevo.