Radovan Karadzic has asked the Tribunal’s President to reverse the Registry decision on recording and monitoring Karadzic’s telephone conversations. Karadzic filed the motion after a report by US diplomats about a conversation with the former Commanding Officer of the UN Detention Unit was published on Wikileaks

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

Former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic asked the Tribunal’s President to reverse the Registry order to record and monitor his telephone conversations pursuant to the Regulations to Govern the Supervision of Visits to and Communications with detainees. The Registrar’s order applies to ‘all accused and all conversations’.

As Karadzic noted, his behavior since his arrival in The Hague has been ‘exemplary’: he has not disclosed any protected documents or witness identities, he has not tried to intimidate anyone and has not indicated in any way whatsoever that he has any intentions to escape. Since ‘in the two and a half years I have done nothing to disturb the good order and security in the Detention Unit’, as he said, Karadzic now claims that there ‘is no reason’ to monitor his telephone conversations. The Registrar’s decision is ‘unreasonable’, Karadzic contends.

Recording and monitoring of telephone conversations of the accused has already been ‘abused’ once, in the Slobodan Milosevic case, Karadzic claims. The proof for that is a diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks, Karadzic said, which concerns the information supplied to the legal advisors in the US Embassy in The Hague by the former Commanding Officer of the UN Detention Unit Tim McFadden.

McFadden shared with the American diplomats the details of Milosevic’s daily telephone conversations with his wife, confidential information on health of the accused and his relationship with his legal assistants and the so-called amici curiae. McFadden could have obtained the information ‘only by recording and monitoring Milosevic’s telephone conversations, particularly those with his wife’, Karadzic contends. This, in Karadzic’s view is ‘shocking and disturbing’.

Karadzic maintains that disclosing information about the detainees obtained by monitoring and recording their telephone conversations poses a threat to the integrity of the Tribunal. Therefore Karadzic urges the ICTY President to order an investigation to verify if the disclosures about the ‘private thoughts, legal strategy and personal health’ of the accused had affected the proper administration of justice in Milosevic’s case. The accused also wants the current and former Commanding Officers of the Detention Unit to state under oath if they had discussed his case with any third persons and if so, what information was disclosed.

In Karadzic’s view, monitoring and recording ‘all the communications of all the accused’ is ‘unwarranted, excessive and subject to abuse’, as shown by Milosevic’s example. The accused therefore urges the President to reverse the Registry decision and to order the Registrar to find a ‘reasonable approach’ which balances ‘the needs of the Tribunal’ with Karadzic’s right to ‘privacy in marital, legal and health affaires’.