Prosecution and Defence Final Trial Briefs were filed, simultaneously, on 25 October 2016 before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. These written submissions were subject to a word limit of 300,000 words, six times larger than standard, which reflects both the size of the trial record and its significance for the Balkan region in general. Oral argument will be heard on 5-16 December 2016, before the Trial Chamber moves into deliberations. The judgement is expected to be delivered some time in 2017.
General Mladic (pictured) faces an eleven count indictment, alleging genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war. These substantive offences are alleged to have been committed through all possible modes of liability under the Tribunal’s Statute, including command responsibility and four separate joint criminal enterprises. Evidentially the case is divided into four components, with crimes being alleged in Srebrenica, Sarajevo and 15 municipalities. He is also alleged to be responsible for taking UN personnel hostage in May 1995.
This is the last trial to be heard by the ICTY. Following the trial judgment, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) will assume jurisdiction over the case, including hearing any appeal. The MICT is currently seized of appeals lodged by the Prosecution in Seselj and a cross-appeal in Karadzic, as well as a retrial in the case of Stanisic and Simatovic.
Joe Holmes of 9 Bedford Row represents General Ratko Mladic and assisted in the drafting of his Final Brief. He is led by Branko Lukic, Miodrag Stojanovic and Dragan Ivetic.
Image source: bbc.co.uk/AFP