Criticizing Bakir Izetbegovic for purportedly interfering in his case, the accused Karadzic offered the current BH president a ‘more constructive way’ to participate in the trial: he could appear before the Tribunal as Karadzic’s defense witness

Radovan Karadzic in the courtroomRadovan Karadzic in the courtroom

The accused Radovan Karadzic has sent a letter to Bakir Izetbegovic, the president of the BH Presidency, through the Tribunal and the BH Embassy in the Netherlands, calling him to give evidence in the defense case.

The letter is in English: Karadzic felt it was a ‘diplomatic solution’, since ‘you speak Bosnian, I speak Serbian’. Karadzic’s letter to Izetbegovic could be described as ‘open’, a term used in diplomacy to describe when ministers and heads of state disagree and quarrel during their talks.

In the introduction, the accused Karadzic notes with unbridled cynicism that he wishes to ‘thank the dear president for the interest in my case’, as evidenced by Izetbegovic’s letter to Chief Prosecutor Brammertz in which he urged Brammertz to file an appeal against Karadzic’s acquittal on Count 1 in the indictment, which charges the former Republika Srpska president with genocide in 1992 in a number of municipalities. As Karadzic said, he was ‘frankly surprised’ by Izetbegovic’s ‘public expression of dissatisfaction’ with the decision. As he added, this will do ‘nothing to further reconciliation of our peoples’.

According to Karadzic, there is a ‘more constructive way’ to involve Izetbegovic in his case: he could appear in The Hague as a defense witness. Izetbegovic’s evidence would ‘shed light on many aspects’ of Karadzic’s case and allow the Tribunal to see the ‘full context of the events during the war’, Karadzic believes. Izetbegovic should testify about the activities of the BH Presidency from 1992 to 1995 and about the role the so-called Third World Relief Agency played in the effort to arm the BH Army, in violation of the UN arms embargo, Karadzic says. Some of those weapons ended up in the hands of the 28th Division in Srebrenica and were used to attack Serb civilians, Karadzic writes. This in turn forced the Serb troops to ‘take actions against the protected zone’. Finally, Karadzic would like to ask Izetbegovic in court about the allegations that the Bosnian government ‘staged some of the notorious shelling incidents in Sarajevo’ to provoke foreign powers to intervene militarily on its behalf.

To prepare him for his testimony, Karadzic urges Izetbegovic to agree to an interview with his legal advisor Peter Robinson.

It remains to be seen if Bakir Izetbegovic, who is the president of the BH Presidency now, will deign to pick up the diplomatic gauntlet thrown down by the former president-turned-accused Radovan Karadzic.