The Trial Chamber has granted Karadzic leave to appeal the Chamber’s December 2008 decision, rejecting most of his requests. Karadzic wanted permission to ‘inspect’ the prosecution archives and asked that all documents referring to his alleged agreement with Holbrooke be disclosed. The accused complained at today’s status conference about ‘NATO storming’ his family home

Radovan Karadžić u sudnici TribunalaRadovan Karadžić u sudnici Tribunala

The Appeals Chamber will consider the issue of ‘immunity’ Richard Holbrooke allegedly promised Radovan Karadzic in July 1996 in return for his withdrawal from the public and political scene. Karadzic was granted permission to file his appeal against the Trial Chamber’s decision of 18 December 2008 denying most of his requests. Karadzic had asked for permission to ‘inspect’ the prosecution archives and disclosure of all documents referring to the alleged immunity agreement; the Trial Chamber ruled against it saying that any promises Holbrooke purportedly made ‘do not bind either the Tribunal or the prosecution’ and that there was no immunity for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Karadzic nevertheless insists on bringing up the Holbrooke agreement: at the status conference today he asked for the disclosure of the transcript of a conversation between former chief prosecutor Louise Arbour and former NATO commander Wesley Clarke in which the US general allegedly confirmed the existence of that agreement. Karadzic also sought that all statements and interviews given by Biljana Plavsic mentioning the American offers of immunity and withdrawal of indictments be disclosed to him.

In addition to the ‘immunity’ issue, the parties dealt with the prosecution motion to amend the indictment, still pending before the Chamber. The motion was filed in September 2008 but the prosecution completed the disclosure of the supporting material only last week: almost 5,000 pages of transcripts of evidence given by insiders, experts and victims in other cases had to be translated into Serbian. Karadzic said that the defense will file its response to the motion by 28 January 2009. Karadzic has already opposed the motion, noting that it exceeded the allowed number of words.

Today Karadzic objected ‘NATO storming’ his family home in Pale in the night of 2 December 2009. As he recounted, at 3 a.m., NATO troops stormed into his house to ‘have a chat about the mental health of Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic’ with his wife. Karadzic sought an explanation from the Office of the High Representative. When they said they had nothing to do with it, Karadzic asked ‘who controls NATO and its actions in BH’. NATO ‘leads the world to its destruction’, Karadzic went on to say, adding that the danger to his family was a bigger problem for him. Judge Bonomy interrupted Karadzic several times asking him what the Tribunal had to do with it, to no avail.

At the end of the status conference today the pre-trial judge indicated that the next status conference will be held within a month’s time.