UN tribunal charges former Serb official with contempt for refusal to testify

15 December 2011The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s today charged a former Serb municipal official with contempt of court for failing to comply with orders to testify in the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžic who faces multiple genocide charges. Milan Tupajic, former chief of the crisis staff and president of the Serb municipality of Sokolac, was charged with contempt of court in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for failing to comply or show good cause as to why he should not testify in Mr. Karadžic’s trial.An order in lieu of indictment for contempt was made confidentially by the trial chamber on 30 November. It set out that Mr. Tupajic was informed on 5 October and 8 November of the contents of two subpoenas, and of his obligation to appear before the chamber or give a valid explanation for his refusal to appear.Mr. Tupajic is accused of having “knowingly and wilfully interfered with the administration of justice by refusing to comply with the chamber’s subpoenas,” the ICTY said in a news release.A warrant for his arrest and an order for surrender were also issued on 30 November. Mr. Tupajic was arrested by Bosnian authorities on Tuesday and will be transferred to the Detention Unit shortly. His initial appearance in court is scheduled for tomorrow.Mr. Karadžic is charged with two counts of genocide and a series of other crimes, including murder, extermination, persecution, deportation and hostage taking, related to actions against Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. His trial began in October 2009.

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