Press

Press Release

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
 
The Hague, 8 July 1996
CC/PIO/098-E


Decision in Karadzic and Mladic Rule 61 to be handed down Thursday 11 July at 4 p.m.

Trial Chamber I will render its decision in the KARADZIC and MLADIC Rule 61 hearing on Thursday 11 July 1996 at 4 p.m., it announced at the close of the week-long public evidentiary hearing today.

If the Trial Chamber decides to reconfirm the indictments against the two accused, as requested by Prosecutor Mark Harmon in his closing statement, delivered today, it will issue international warrants for their arrest, which will be sent to all member States of the UN, to the Implementation Force (IFOR) and to Interpol.

Harmon also called on the Trial Chamber to certify to the President of the Tribunal that "the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has failed to comply with its obligation under Article 29 of the Statute". Harmon reminded the court that both of the accused"remain ensconced in their Balkan sanctuaries". He accused the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of providing "succor and refuge" to the two accused and called on the President to alert the Security Council to this failure of the FRY to arrest KARADZIC and MLADIC.

THE HEARING

During the Rule 61 hearing, which was held from 27 June to 8 July 1996, a small portion of the evidence against the two accused was presented to the full Trial Chamber, which was presided over by Judge Claude Jorda.

Summarising these testimonies and the evidence presented during his closing statement, Prosecutor Harmon stated that they pointed to "a ruthless and determined policy of persecution, directed at Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, on national, ethnic, political and religious grounds and resulting in their total or almost total elimination in many of the municipalities across the territory of what is now the "Republika Srpska".

This policy, which was pursued using a mixture of unlawful confinement, killing, beating, torture, rape, and deportations of civilians, a pattern euphemistically referred to as 'ethnic cleansing', "culminated in the hideous events that surrounded the Bosnian Serb take-over of Srebrenica in July of 1995".

Harmon summarised evidence placing the two accused firmly in control of the Bosnian Serb forces accused of perpetrating the atrocities alleged in the indictments and asserted that: "Dr. Karadzic [had] complete authority and control over all the official Bosnian Serb forces in time of war (. . .) He created a unified command for the Bosnian Serb Army and police. This meant that information about all aspects of the conflict flowed directly up and down the chain of command."

General Mladic "establish[ed] his own command structure and he personally selected the members of the main staff as well as the corps commanders. He has effectively controlled the Bosnian Serb Army throughout the war although he has deferred to Dr. Karadzic as the overall leader of the Republika Srpska." Before the take-over of Srebrenica, Mladic told Colonel Karremans that "the fate of the Muslims lay in his hands". This fate was described by Judge Riad as "scenes from Hell, written on the darkest pages of human history".

In conclusion, Prosecutor Harmon stated that it was the Prosecution case that "Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic and the forces under their direct control are responsible for creating those scenes".

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International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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