British lawyer appointed Karadzic standby counsel

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2009 6:47 AM

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal has appointed a British lawyer to represent Radovan Karadzic if the former Bosnian Serb leader continues to boycott his trial when it resumes in March, according to a document released Friday.

The U.N. court named Richard Harvey, a lawyer with experience in The Hague representing war crimes suspects from Kosovo.

The decision appears unlikely to break the stalemate that led to the adjournment of Karadzic's trial just days after it began last month when the defendant refused to show up in court, saying he needed months more to prepare his defense.

Although he has no legal training, Karadzic has been representing himself with the help of legal advisers. He appeared alone in court at all pretrial hearings.

One of Karadzic's advisers said the former Bosnian Serb leader will not cooperate with Harvey. Marko Sladojevic told The Associated Press that Karadzic will respond next week to the appointment.

Prosecutors allege in an 11-count indictment that Karadzic masterminded Serb atrocities throughout the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. He insists he is innocent.

Sladojevic said Karadzic had spoken to Harvey before his appointment, and Harvey had said he was unlikely to be ready by March 1, when the trial is scheduled to resume.

"Mr. Harvey has absolutely no knowledge whatsoever about the case," Sladojevic said.

Karadzic believes he should have been given a list of all defense attorneys accredited to work at the tribunal so that he could make his own choice of lawyer, Sladojevic said.

"This affects his fair trial rights," he added.