Karadzic seeks ICTY information on alleged immunity deal with US

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb leader and war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive] has requested, in a motion [PDF text] released Monday by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive], that prosecutors release information regarding an alleged immunity deal with former US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke [PBS profile]. Writing on his own behalf, Karadic said the ICTY's Rules of Procedure and Evidence [PDF text] grant him the right to use the information in defending himself:

Dr. Karadzic contends that the documents described... are material to the preparation of his [defense]. It is part of his [defense] that (1) he was promised on 18-19 July 1996 by Richard Holbrooke that he would not have to face prosecution in The Hague if he agreed to withdraw completely from public life; and (2) that this promise is attributable to the ICTY because it was made on behalf of, or in consultation with the member States of the United Nations Security Council, or was reasonably believed to be so made.
Karadzic first alleged [text, PDF; JURIST report] the existence of an immunity deal with the US in August when he asked the court to compel the testimony of both Holbrooke and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright [DOS profile]. Both Holbrooke and Albright have denied the existence of such a deal, but former ICTY spokesperson Florence Hartmann has claimed that the US and other Western countries delayed and impeded [JURIST reports] Karadzic's arrest. AP has more. From Serbia, B92 has additional coverage.

In September, ICTY prosecutors filed a motion to amend [text, PDF; JURIST report] Karadzic's indictment, as was planned [JURIST report] earlier that month. The existing indictment [text] contains 11 charges against Karadzic, including genocide, murder, persecution, deportation and "other inhumane acts." The proposed amendments would narrow the indictment with the intent of calling fewer witnesses to testify and simplifying the trial. Karadzic was arrested [JURIST report] in July after evading capture for nearly 13 years. He was originally indicted in 1995 but had been in hiding under an assumed identity as an alternative medicine practitioner [BBC report]. He repeatedly refused to enter a plea on the charges, with an ICTY judge eventually entering a not guilty plea [JURIST reports] on his behalf. If the court approves the amended indictment, Karadzic will be asked to enter new pleas.

 

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