KARADZIC WANTS UNHCR DOCUMENTS
Radovan Karadzic has sought various wartime documents produced by the UNHCR arguing that these would help him contest the allegations against him. The prosecution alleges that Karadzic denied freedom of movement of persons and humanitarian convoys; he is also charged with deportation and forcible transfer of non-Serbs from areas under the Bosnian Serb control
Former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic has sought all documentation about his contacts with the UNHCR from April 1992 to October 1995 in which reference is made to freedom of movement of persons and humanitarian convoys. Karadzic is on trial for genocide and other crimes in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In his request submitted to UNHCR high commissioner Antonio Guterres, Karadzic has also asked for all memos, reports and other correspondence of the UNHCR personnel speaking about the weapons, ammunition and military equipment transported in humanitarian aid convoys ‘knowingly or unwittingly’. Karadzic has also asked for the results of any enquiries into such incidents.
Karadzic hopes that these documents will help him contest the allegations that he prohibited freedom of movement of humanitarian convoys. ‘Records of the many times where I faciliated movement of UNHCR convoys will help me to show that no such joint criminal enetrprize existed’, Karadzic argued, adding that he in fact often acted to improve the freedom of movement of persons and humanitarian aid.
According to Karadzic, the UNHCR documents will help him contest the allegations of deportation and forcible transfer of Muslims and Croats. Notes from his meetings with the UNHCR representatives will show that Muslims and Croats ‘often requested to leave the areas where they had been living’. Karadzic will thus be able to corroborate his defense case that those who wished to remain were allowed to do it ‘with full respect to their rights’.
Finally, the documents about the smuggling of weapons and military equipment in UNHCR convoys will show why it was ‘necessary’ for the Serb side to control the humanitarian convoys and check their cargo, Karadzic says in his motion, arguing that the convoys were not inspected ‘with any bad intent’ and ‘were not a part of the joint criminal enterprise’.
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