UN tribunal postpones trial of Serbian security figure due to ill health

16 May 2008The United Nations tribunal set up to deal with the worst crimes committed during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s today adjourned the trial of a former high-level official with the Serbian secret service after ruling that he is not fit to stand trial on health grounds. Today’s decision overturns that of the trial chamber last month that ruled that Jovica Stanišić could stand trial. But the appeals chamber found that Mr. Stanišić has the right to be present in the court, deeming a video-conference link from the detention unit to be insufficient. The proceedings will be postponed for three months, at which time the defendant’s health condition will be reassessed to determine whether the trial should resume. Mr. Stanišić is accused of directing, organizing, equipping, training, arming and financing secret units of the Serbian State Security which murdered, persecuted and deported Croats, Bosnian Muslims and other non-Serb civilians from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia between 1991 and 1995. read more