President of the Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Courts (MICT), Theodor Meron, expects that the Radovan Karadžić appeal judgment is to be delivered in the first quarter of 2019.
Meron was yesterday in his last visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in this capacity, and in his address to the media, he asked for the credibility of The Hague Court not to be viewed through a professional disagreement between him and Judge Jean-Claude Antonetti, but it is a matter of legal disagreement.
When former Republika Srpska President Radovan Karadžić asked Judge Antonetti to exclude Meron from the appeals proceedings in the case, Meron was clear what would happen because the judge had previously excluded him from Mladić’s proceedings, and Meron himself decided to withdraw.
He did so that the decision-making process on the appeal of Karadžić’s defense would not be delayed, and he felt that it was best that he himself make such a decision, and as the President of the Mechanism, he had the authority to appoint another judge in his place.
“I do not believe, therefore, that there will be a longer delay in the Karadžić case. I expect that the verdict will be issued already in the first quarter of 2019,” said Meron, although it was planned the case to be finalized by the end of this year.
Judge Antonetti excluded Liu Daqun, Carmelo Agius and Theodor Meron from the second instance proceedings against Ratko Mladić, the former general of the Republika Srpska Army, under suspicion of them being biased, but Meron said today he would be completely objective if he were to stay on the case.
“However, the change in the composition of the judges in the case of Ratko Mladić should also not lead to further delay in passing the judgment, because disqualification took place at the early stage of this case, “Meron explained, adding that he believes that everything will go according to the plan and be completed by 2020.
He reflected on the entire work of The Hague Court and reminded that 161 persons were indicted for war crimes committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, adding that the Tribunal had one hundred percent success in bringing those persons to justice.
However, he estimated that 161 people are not even close to the number of persons who committed various crimes in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, which is why the process of fighting impunity should be continued in each of the countries, in BiH, Croatia, and Serbia.
“If we look at several years back, we have to admit that the progress was not as fast as we hoped,” said Meron.