"Tribunal won't prevent further war crimes"

Radovan Karadžić’s first appearance at the Hague has been scheduled for 16.00 CET today.

Source: Tanjug
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The Trial Chamber will be presided over by Judge Alphons Orie who said that he was not under any illusion that the work of the Tribunal would prevent others from committing crimes.

"The best case scenario would be if it scared some regimes or people. Anyway, the goal of this court is not to prevent future crimes but to bring to justice those who might have committed them in the past,” Orie said.

The judge said that suffering was a serious issue regardless of the number of people affected, but he added that he was not under the illusion that international courts such as the Hague Tribunal would put others off committing crimes.

He said that during the trials he “tends to bring a certain dose of Dutch legal pragmatism.”

“If defendants tend to stall or skirt around the truth, sometimes I have to stop them and force them to get to the point,” Orie explained, adding that the most important thing for him was to speed up court procedure whenever possible.

Orie started his career at the Hague Tribunal as a lawyer, working with the defense team of Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Duško Tadić, who was the first man to stand trial before the Tribunal in 1997.

"Today, those ‘small’ war criminals, like Tadić, wouldn’t even be tried at the Hague. His case would be returned to the national court,” the judge said.

He is the only judge from the Netherlands among the 32 permanent Tribunal judges.

In 2006, Orie sentenced the former speaker of the Republic of Srpska parliament and Karadžić’s close associate, Momčilo Krajišnik, to 27 years in prison.

According to Dutch legal experts, Orie played an “important role” in making the Tribunal more efficient, because he proposed a lot of pragmatic solutions to accelerate trials.

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