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Steinke, Ron

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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 04/05/2012

Karadžić trial needs time

After two years of giving evidence the prosecution will rest its case today in the trial against the Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadžić in The Hague. The accused will then have two more years to answer the charges. Such a time frame, which would be considered a judicial scandal in any European country, is a necessity for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, writes the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung: "The Hague functions according to different rules. The mothers of Srebrenica rightly expect that their microphones won't simply be switched off as they speak. ... On the other hand the defendant Karadžić may also expect more rights and more time to defend himself than the major war criminals had in the Nuremberg trials after World War II. Back then the proceedings lasted only twelve months. When a criminal financier baffles a German court with complex arguments today, he does it in the hope that he will be offered a shorter trial and a milder sentence. ... In The Hague, quite rightly, no one is thinking taking such shortcuts."

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