Karadzic letter repeats claims that US offered him immunity

Other News Materials 1 August 2008 19:09 (UTC +04:00)

Radovan Karadzic was promised immunity from prosecution by the US in 1996, the former Bosnian-Serb leader and war crimes suspect says in a letter sent to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and published by the ICTY on Friday, reported dpa.

The letter, a four-page document with an English translation, is the same one Karadzic used during his initial appearance before the ICTY on Thursday where he was indicted on 11 counts of war crimes in connection with the bloody 1992-95 Bosnian conflict, including genocide and crimes against humanity.

In the letter Karadzic writes that former US mediator Richard Holbrooke promised his political representatives that Karadzic would not have to appear before the ICTY provided he withdrew from the public arena.

"Mr Holbrooke obligated himself on behalf of the US that I would not be tried before this tribunal," the statement says.

Karadzic also referred to remarks he made during his initial appearance about fearing he would be killed while in the UN detention centre in Scheveningen, near The Hague.

"It is clear that, due the fact that the agreements he (Holbrooke) made on behalf of the US were not implemented, he has moved on to plan B - the liquidation of Radovan Karadzic."

Speaking on Dutch TV on Thursday, Holbrooke vehemently denied having made a deal with Karadzic, calling it an "outrageous fabrication by a war criminal. It would have been unethical and immoral." dpa rl pmc