Global Policy Forum

Karadzic Made Secret Deal with US

Adnkronos International
March 22, 2007

Former Bosnian Serb leader and top war crimes indictee Radovan Karadzic, made a secret deal with the United States in May 1996 to spare him from prosecution in return for abandoning politics and withdrawing from public life, Banjaluka weekly Fokus alleges in its latest issue. Karadzic and his wartime military commander Ratko Mladic are the two top fugitives wanted for trial at the United Nations Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Fokus published what it claimed is a copy of the alleged pact signed by Karadzic and the chief US mediator in the Balkan conflicts, Richard Holbrooke (who later became US secretary of state). The pact states that Karadzic would be spared from prosecution by the UN tribunal if he resigned from the post of president of the Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska (RS), withdrew from politics and refrained from making public statements. Contacted in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, Vladimir Nadezdin, former aid of Serbian foreign minister Milan Milutinovic on Thursday confirmed the existence of the document. "I've seen it with my own eyes," he told Adnkronos International (AKI) on Thursday.

Karadzic disappeared in 1996, but Holbrooke has repeatedly denied the existence of a document such as that published by Fokus - rumours of which have been circulating for some time. Karadzic has been accused of genocide against Bosnian Muslims and is one of the six indictees accused by UN tribunal who are still at large.

According to Fokus, the document provided for a secure hideaway for Karadzic and a sum of 600,000 dollars to ensure his protection and "decent living conditions." The existence of a secret deal has been confirmed by Karadzic's elder brother Luka. "I appeal to the honour, dignity and the office held by Richard Holbrooke to make public the details of the gentleman's agreement which he had signed with my brother Radovan," Luka Karadzic told Fokus. He said that several former Bosnian Serb officials and Nadezdin could vouch for the existence of the alleged agreement between Karadzic and Holbrooke.

Nadezdin, now working for a state trading company Progres, told AKI that Karadzic forwarded the document to former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic who was later himself accused of war crimes and died in the Hague jail in March last year. "The document should still be in the foreign ministry archives, if it wasn't destroyed in a suspicious fire there two years ago," Nadezdin said. He contested, however, Fokus' report that 600,000 dollars was part of the deal and said that Karadzic's signature on the document published by Fokus seemed to have been forged, but could not explain the alleged discrepancies.

The behaviour of the international community, which seems to be giving priority to the arrest of Mladic over Karadzic, is grist to the mill of those who believe in the existence of the alleged pact.

More Information on International Justice
More Information on Radovan Karadzic
More Information on Ratko Mladic
More Information on the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia
More Information on the Rogues Gallery


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