THE HAGUE | 24.03.2015.

HOW TO CONTINUE HADZIC’S TRIAL

The prosecution has proposed a series of measures that would reduce the time needed for the defense case without compromising the fairness and integrity of the trial. Hadzic’s trial could thus continue and end regardless of Hadzic’s serious medical condition

After the prosecution filed a motion for Goran Hadzic’s trial to proceed in the interests of justice, now the prosecution has come up with three measures that would make it possible. The trial of the former prime minister of the SAO Eastern Slavonia was suspended in the middle of the defense case when the accused was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor. Hadzic refused to allow the trial to continue in his absence.

In its motion made public on Tuesday, the prosecution states it is prepared to waive its right to cross-examine 13 defense witnesses if the defense tenders their evidence in writing, without examining them in chief. Also, the prosecution is amenable to applying the same procedure to additional witnesses, identified as suitable for this procedure by the defense. Finally, the prosecution wants the parties to meet to discuss the best way to reduce the time necessary to examine and cross-examine the remaining witnesses who should appear in court.

If accepted, the proposed measures would significantly reduce the time necessary to complete the defense case. At the same time, the proposals would allow the defense to complete its case in a manner which would not compromise the fairness and integrity of the trial. According to the prosecution, the time needed to call evidence would be reduced by about 37 hours, or eight court days.

The defense complained that they had managed to call just one fourth of the witnesses they plan to examined, but it has taken half of the time allotted to it to do so. The prosecution nevertheless notes that the defense would certainly have to relinquish some of its witnesses, just as the prosecution had to do during its case. According to the prosecution, the defense should review its witness list in light of the evidence called so far.

Finally, the document notes that the Trial Chamber has not yet ruled on the motions in which the prosecution opposes the admission of two defense expert reports into the evidence and the recall of Witness GH 012. If the Trial Chamber rules in favor of the prosecution, the defense case would be further reduced by about 11 hours, the prosecution stressed.

The prosecution has asked the Trial Chamber to make all the necessary decisions for the proposed measures to be taken.