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Western nations blocked Karadzic arrest: ICTY spokesperson

[JURIST] Attempts to bring war crimes suspect and former fugitive Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to trial were long delayed by the US, France, and England, a former spokesperson for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official site] said in a interview published in Serbian newspaper Blic [media website] on Sunday. Florence Hartmann accused former US President Bill Clinton and former French President Jacques Chirac of interfering to prevent the arrest of Karadzic, and suggested that the US had only relented when it realized that his freedom was a stumbling block to stability in the region. Hartmann made similar accusations [JURIST report] last year in her memoirs [book website], saying that the US and other western countries repeatedly impeded ICTY efforts to arrest Karadzic. In her book, Hartmann also said that Russia aided in moving Karadzic to safety in Belarus, and alleged that the West helped in order to hide information about the Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Sapa-DPA has more.

Last week, Karadzic submitted a document [PDF text; JURIST report] to the ICTY asserting that he was granted an immunity deal by former US Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke [PBS biography], conditioned on his removing himself from public life. He went on to ask the Tribunal to order the appearance of not only Holbrooke, but also former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright [DOS profile] and two other officials allegedly involved in the deal. Holbrooke and Albright have denied the accusations, but Purdue University Professor Charles Ingrao [faculty profile], leader of a research group [Scholars' Initiative website] dealing with issues of the former Yugoslavia, said in an interview [Bosnian Institute report] that he has independent evidence verifying Karadzic's claims.

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