međunarodni kazneni sud - ICTY - Haag.jpg
Photograph: HINA ds

The trial of Croatian Serb rebel leader Goran Hadzic, indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), has been suspended indefinitely due to his poor health, the Serbian media quoted Hadzic's attorney Zoran Zivanovic as saying on Saturday.

The Hague-based tribunal made the decision a few days ago, Zivanovic said, adding that they were waiting to see if the prosecution had appealed against it.

Quoting the attorney's statement for the Bosnian Serb entity public broadcaster, the Serbian media reported that Hadzic's defence on Friday appealed against the tribunal's decision not to allow Hadzic to meet with several close friends and defence witnesses, some of whom had already testified in his trial.

"We believe that there is no longer any reason to deny him the right to see those people," Zivanovic said without revealing any details concerning his client's condition.

Hadzic has a brain tumour and his attorneys have said that the illness is in the terminal stage.

The ICTY released Hadzic last June for an indefinite period on the condition his doctors regularly submitted reports on his condition.

His trial started in 2012, following his arrest in Serbia in 2011. Before that, he had been on the run for seven years.

During the war in Croatia in the 1990s, Hadzic was president of the self-proclaimed Serbian Autonomous District of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srijem and subsequently President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina - both unrecognised Serb-controlled areas within Croatia.

He was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity over his involvement in the forced removal and murder of thousands of non-Serb civilians from Serb-occupied areas of Croatia between 1991 and 1993.

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