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The Tribunal's Registrar, Hans Holthuis, today filed a submission in which he advised the Trial Chamber in the case against Zdravko Tolimir of grave concerns regarding the accused's health condition.
Tolimir, a high ranking Bosnian Serb Army officer indicted for genocide and other crimes committed in Srebrenica in 1995, is assessed by the Registry to have a "grave, fragile and highly alarming" health condition. Tolimir's health has not been aided by his refusal, since he was transferred in to the Tribunal's custody on 1 June this year, to cooperate with physicians, accept appropriate medical treatment or prescribed medicines. Tolimir has given various reasons for refusing medical care, ranging from religious beliefs to asserting that he is, in fact, in good health.
Given the state of Tolimir's health and his attitude regarding care, the Registrar states that "there is a very real and serious risk of the Accused experiencing a life-threatening episode at any time and without warning."
The Registrar also notes that concerns about Tolimir's health have been further compounded by his stated intention to represent himself at trial. After consultations with physicians, the Registrar submits, "that the stresses involved in running a trial are certain to have a detrimental impact on the Accused's medical situation."
Recalling that it is his fundamental duty and obligation to safeguard the health and well-being of all persons in the Tribunal's custody, the Registrar believes that circumstances have progressed to such a point that he is compelled to bring these matters to the attention of the Chambers. He requests the Chamber to take all appropriate measures to further assess Tolimir's health in order to assist them in their determination as to whether he is capable of representing himself.
The Tribunal's indictment charges Tolimir, Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Security of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army, with genocide and other crimes in relation to the executions of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica in July 1995.
The full text of the submission can be found at:
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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