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ICTY dismisses Karadzic 'immunity' appeal

[JURIST] The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Monday dismissed [decision, PDF] the appeal of former Bosnian Serb leader and war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive], in which he asserted that he is immune from prosecution. Karadzic alleged that US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke [PBS profile] promised him in 1996 that he would not be prosecuted by the UN court if he gave up power. This decision upholds the December decision of the trial chamber, which held that there was no valid immunity deal [JURIST report] between Karadzic and Holbrooke and that even if such an agreement had existed, it would not be valid under international law. Holbrooke has denied Karadzic's allegations and prosecutors have found no documents that verify any such deal existed.

Last month, Karadzic for a second time refused to enter pleas [JURIST report] to 11 amended charges including genocide, murder, persecution, deportation, and "other inhumane acts," for war crimes allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, including the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Karadzic was originally indicted [text] by the ICTY in 1995, but had been in hiding under an assumed identity until his arrest last year [JURIST report].

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