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article imageUN Court: No Immunity for Karadzic

article:275596:8::0
By Mark Kersten     Jul 8, 2009 in World
Bosnian Serb Radovan Karadzic had sought to see his case dismissed. Today the Yugoslavian war crimes tribunal rejected his request, meaning Karadzic is one step closer to facing trial.
Karadzic is at The Hague in Netherlands, where he is facing accusations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and the genocide in Srebrenica, at the United Nations International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia.
Since being caught in July 2008, the former Bosnian Serb politician has argued that he should not face the charges against him because in 1996, Richard Holbrooke, then acting as an American peace envoy, struck a deal with him that ensured he would not be prosecuted if he surrendered political power.
Holbrooke, now the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has denied that any such deal was struck, saying any such assertion is "laughable" and "a lie".
According to the BBC, the court ruled that "even if such a deal was struck, it would be irrelevant because Mr Holbrooke was not acting with the authority of the UN Security Council."
The presiding judge added that "To the contrary, the accused has been the subject of a number of UNSC resolutions, passed after the agreement, demanding his arrest."
The ruling means that Karadzic will face his long-awaited trial.
Prior to being detained last July, Karadzic had been on the run for thirteen years. After he was caught, he was brought before the War Crimes Court in Belgrade and subsequently extradited to The Hague, where he faces 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and the genocide in Srebrenica.
Srebrenica is perhaps the best known instance of atrocity during the Bosnian War (1992-1995). It was deemed a UN "safe area", a plan mainly observers believe was destined to fail. As James Traub noted, "while the safe havens plan worked for some time, they "became killing zones starting in early 1994."
In the case of Srebrenica, in July 1995, 8000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were massacred. It was the worst massacre in Europe since WWII.
article:275596:8::0
More about Radovan karadzic, International law, Balkans
 
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