Professor Francis A. Boyle, Attorney for the Mothers of Srebrenica and Podrinja, especially for Trend
According to published reports, Karadzic has sent a letter to the ICTY alleging that both Richard Holbrooke and Madeleine Albright promised him immunity from prosecution in the event he were to withdraw from public and political life in Bosnia. Even if these allegations are true, they would have no bearing upon the prosecution of Karadzic by the ICTY. The authority for this prosecution comes from the ICTY Statute, which is based upon a Resolution by the U.N. Security Council adopted under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter and is thus binding international law. Holbrooke and Albright would have had no authority to contradict a Chapter 7 Security Council Resolution. Hence I do not believe that the ICTY would subpoena Holbrooke and Albright at this time to appear at this preliminary stage of the proceedings. However, during the course of the trial itself, Karadzic could subpoena them and request their appearance provided that he can explain the relevance of their testimony to his defense, which so far has not been revealed.
There is no guarantee that the ICTY would grant his request, but it could happen, especially for Holbrooke. In my opinion, and based upon the public record only, Mrs Albright did everything humanly possible in her capacity as US Ambassador to the United Nations to save the Bosnians, and should be commended for that.But Holbrooke is a different matter. And Mrs Albright had no control over Holbrooke, who reported to Secretary of State Warren Christopher and to President Clinton.
When Holbrooke took over the so-called peace negotiations in early 1994, almost 75% of Bosnia had been overrun by Karadzic, Mladic and Milosevic. So Holbrooke was not responsible for any of that. But he was responsible for what happened after that, including the genocidal massacre at Srebrenica.
It was clear to me at the time that Holbrooke decided to sacrifice Zepa, Srebrenica and Gorazde in order to "tidy up" the map that he was offering to Milosevic and Karadzic so that Serbia would have compact territory beyond the Drina river thus effectively eliminating the border between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, which is pretty much the case today. Holbrooke basically admits this in his book. Only the international outrage over the genocide at Srebrenica saved the people of Gorazde. So as I said before, Holbrooke should be on trial with Karadzic as an accomplice on the Srebrenica indictment against Karadzic--as you know, there are 2 indictments against Karadzic. Of course Karadzic will get a fair trial and in the process Karadzic will probably implicate Holbrooke, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Kofi Annan, Yasushi Akashi, David Owen, Thorvald Stoltenberg, Carl Bildt and many of the other "internationals" who assisted and/or aided and abetted his ethnic cleansing of Bosnia. So I will keep a very close eye on these proceedings (just as I did on the Milosevic trial) to see what further evidence develops and how i can use this evidence on behalf of my clients The Mothers of Srebrenica and Podrinja against these individuals, their governments, and the United Nations Organization.
As for the recent dismissal of the lawsuit brought by the Srebrenica survivors in the Netherlands against the United Nations Organization on the grounds that the UN must have "absolute immunity" in order to conduct its affairs around the world, this was a whitewash and a cover-up by the Dutch Court. The Netherlands is implicated with the United Nations for the massacre at Srebrenica, so of course the Dutch Court was going to absolve its accomplice the United Nations Organization. It is well known under public international law that the United Nations Organization only has "functional immunity" under the terms of the United Nations Charter, not "absolute immunity." Clearly for the United Nations Organization to have aided and abetted and facilitated genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity at Srebrenica did not fit within the doctrine of "functional immunity." So further proceedings against the United Nations Organization itself are in order.
Opinion of author may be not similar with opinion of editorial staff of Trend Agency