THE HAGUE | 26.02.2013.

KARADZIC’S MOTION FOR SUBPOENA TO FIKRET ABDIC DENIED

The Trial Chamber concluded that Fikret Abdic’s evidence could be relevant for Radovan Karadzic’defense. However, the Chamber denied Karadzic’s request to issue a subpoena. The judges stressed that the accused could obtain similar information from other witnesses

The Trial Chamber hearing the case against Radovan Karadzic who is on trial for genocide and other crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina denied the accused’s motion in which he petitioned the Chamber to issue a subpoena to Fikret Abdic compelling him to give evidence in the defense case. In 1990, Abdic became a member of the BH Presidency as a nominee of the Party of Democratic Action.

Karadzic argued that Abdic’s evidence might help him contest the allegations about his involvement in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at expelling the Muslim population. Karadzic also maintained that Abdic could help him corroborate the argument that an SDA faction led by Alija Izetbegovic ‘advanced an agenda which led to Bosnia’s departure from Yugoslavia’. According to the accused, Abdic is the only person who can testify about the events inside the SDA because other high-ranking party officials – Ejup Ganic, Haris Silajdzic and Bakir Izetbegovic- ‘have categorically refused to testify’.

In its decision dismissing Karadzic’s motion, the Trial Chamber concluded that Abdic’s evidence could be relevant for the defense. However, the judges noted that much of the information would be similar to the evidence that is already part of the record. Although the judges were convinced that Karadzic had done everything in his power to obtain Abdic’s testimony, they considered that there were other witnesses who could provide similar evidence, which obviated the need for a subpoena.

The Trial Chamber reminded the accused once again that it would not issue subpoenas lightly. Subpoenas should be a last resort for obtaining testimony, the Trial Chamber noted. Karadzic was also warned again that seeking subpoenas for ‘so many witnesses’ was not demonstrative of ‘the appropriate or valuable’ use of the defense’s resources and the Trial Chamber’s time.