Lawyers at the trial of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic are trying to convince the court that he was promised immunity from prosecution by America. The Karadzic legal team says he struck an agreement with Richard Holbrooke, the US peace mediator at the time of the Bosnian War.
According to Karadzic’s legal adviser Peter Robinson: “This agreement was made on the 18th and 19th of July in 1996 in Belgrade, and we have 15 witnesses to this agreement.” The US envoy has repeatedly denied any deal, saying Karadzic’s claim is “no more than another lie from the most evil man in Europe.” But a Serb political analyst believes it could prove a landmark. Zoran Zuza said: “If Karadzic manages to prove that there was an agreement between himself and Holbrooke, it will affect the future of this trial in the Hague.” Among the 11 charges Karadzic is facing are two counts of genocide from the Bosnian war in the early 90s. His lawyers admit that it is unlikely any document bearing Holbrooke’s signature will emerge. Judges at the Hague say they would not give Karadzic immunity even if one does turn up.