ICTY appeals chamber upholds rejection of Karadzic 'immunity' claim

[JURIST] The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] dismissed [decision, PDF] an appeal claiming immunity by former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive] in a ruling released Tuesday. Karadzic, who stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, argued that the ICTY cannot prosecute him because US diplomat Richard Holbrooke promised him immunity if he resigned his leadership. Holbrooke denies the existence of any such agreement. The appeals chamber, in affirming an ICTY trial chamber decision [text, PDF; JURIST report], held that even if the agreement could be proven, it would not limit the ICTY's jurisdiction or its ability to prosecute Karadzic. In April, the appeals chamber affirmed [decision, PDF; JURIST report] the trial chamber's previous rejection [decision, PDF; JURIST report] of a claim by Karadzic on similar grounds. The trial had been scheduled to begin October 21, but the ICTY decided Tuesday to delay the trial to allow Karadzic more time to prepare a defense.

Karadzic faces 11 charges [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder, for war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. In August, Karadzic sued the Serbian government for allegedly kidnapping him prior to announcing his arrest [JURIST reports] last year. He claimed that Serbian authorities officially reported his arrest three days after he was actually detained, delaying his appearance before a judge. Karadzic's capture came 13 years after being indicted by the ICTY in 1995.

 

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