Explaining his disappearance for more than a decade, Radovan Karadzic accused the United States of offering him a deal if he left politics.
He told the judge that he would have answered charges against him years ago but was afraid for his life.
Naming Richard Holbrooke, the US diplomat who brokered the Dayton Peace Accord, Karadzic said: “Holbrooke still wants my death and regrets that there’s no death sentence.”
He also claimed his seizure and trial violated a deal he made with the United States in 1996.
But the former US Ambassador to the UN has shrugged off the suggestion as a tale Karadzic has created to explain being a fugitive.
“He’s put this out in order to defend himself. It’s an invented story. No one ought to believe it,” he said.
Holbrooke says he negotiated a deal in 1996 with Slobodan Milosevic that Karadzic would quit as Bosnian Serb leader but Washington did not want him to disappear.