International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Richard Goldstone: I sympathise with victims but justice is often a slow process

June 5, 2021

Richard Goldstone, the first chief prosecutor of the UN war crime tribunal for former Yugoslavia, spoke to N1 days before the final verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic. According to him, the first-instance judgment of life sentence was appropriate and he expects no changes in the final verdict.

“Obviously, it's disappointing that it has taken almost 26 years since I issued the first indictment against Mladic to come to this stage. And obviously, I sympathise with the victims and some of them are no longer alive,” he said, adding that he can understand the frustration of the victims but that that justice is very often a slow process.

Asked if he was satisfied with the first-instance verdict in Ratko Mladic case or if there was something he would do differently as a judge, Goldstone replied it was important to have all the facts properly appreciated.

He noted it would be too much to expect any war crime tribunal to write the history.

Judges should stick to the evidence relevant to the person that is accused and appearing before the court, he stressed, adding that it would be wrong for the judges to go outside that and turn into historians.

“Let me say I would be very happy if the prosecutor's appeal (in Mladic's case) succeeds, which is next week,” said Goldstone.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/richard-goldstone-i-sympathise-with-victims-but-justice-is-often-a-slow-process/

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