Thursday, December 18, 2008

ICTY: Trial Chamber Decision on Karadzic's Request for Disclosure of Evidence of Immunity Deal

Yesterday, the ICTY Trial Chamber ordered the Prosecution to disclose to Radovan Karadzic any written agreement or any notes taken or recordings made at an alleged meeting in Belgrade on July 18-19, 1996. Karadzic alleged that in that meeting Richard Holbrooke offered him immunity from ICTY prosecution if he (Karadzic) withdrew from public life. Karadzic further claimed that the alleged agreement was attributable to the ICTY. In its decision, the Trial Chamber noted that any immunity agreement would be invalid under international law. It noted further that, in any event, an agreement between Holbrooke and Karadzic could not effect the mandate of the ICTY. That said, the evidence (noted above) might go to mitigation of any sentence, and so the Chamber ordered its disclosure. In this regard, it is of interest that the Prosecution has already provided the defendant with a document, dated July 18, 1996, that includes an undertaking by the defendant that he would step down from politics.