Karadzic asks ICTY to order testimony of US officials

[JURIST] War crimes suspect and former fugitive Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has submitted a document [text, PDF] to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official site] asserting that he was granted an immunity deal by former US Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke [PBS biography], conditioned on his removing himself from public life. The ICTY made the document available Thursday, and in it Karadzic wrote that he had not been allowed to fully explain himself in court Wednesday. He claimed that:

Mr Holbrooke undertook on behalf of the USA that I would not be tried before this Tribunal and that I should understand that for a while there would be very sharp rhetoric against me so that my followers would not hamper the implementation of the Dayton agreement. The USA kept its promise to ease the pressure on the SDS and Mr Holbrooke himself boasted in the press that he had persuaded me to withdraw not only from public but also from party offices. There is evidence of this in the media, which contain proof that there was an agreement. [sic]
He went on to ask the Tribunal to order the appearance of not only Holbrooke, but also former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright [DOS profile] and two other officials allegedly involved in the deal. Holbrooke and Albright have denied the accusations, but Purdue University Professor Charles Ingrao [faculty profile], leader of a research group [Scholars' Initiative website] dealing with issues of the former Yugoslavia, said in an interview [Bosnian Institute report] that he has independent evidence verifying Karadzic's claims. AFP has more.

Western media has sharply criticized both Thursday's submission and last week's letter [text, PDF; JURIST report] in which Karadzic argued to the Tribunal that it is impossible for him to receive a fair trial. Southeastern European media sources, however, have often been more receptive to Karadzic's argument. Karadzic has vowed to represent himself [JURIST Forum] in defending against charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, largely related to his alleged oversight of the Srebrenica [JURIST news archive] massacre and other killings of Bosnian Muslims and Croats during the 1990s. He faces life in prison if convicted.

 

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