"The Hague war crimes tribunal, already under fire for its slow pace in dealing with Balkan war crimes cases, was thrown into confusion on Thursday by the revelation that lawyers prosecuting the Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic had failed to turn over hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence to the defence.
The Dutch judge, Alphons Orie, said the mistake would lead to a delay in the trial, which lawyers were already predicting would last four years or more.
"The chamber is still in the process of gathering information of the scope and full impact of this error," Orie said." The Guardian
This does not surprise me at all. In several years of participating as an expert witness in criminal trials in federal and state courts as well as "habeas corpus" hearings in federal courts I have seen prosecutors do this over and over again.
It seems that the temptation to cheat the process and try a defendant on evidence he has not seen before the courtroom confrontation is overwhelming. An additional "technique" used by prosecutors is to declare that some evidence is so sensitive that the defense team and the defendant cannot be shown it. This is now prevalent in Americans national security cases. In one pending case, the Justice Department attempted to have witnesses testify without identification and in disguise. This case is still before a circuit court of appeals. pl