War crimes defendant Radovan Karadzic has written to Bakir Izetbegovic, a member of the Bosnian presidency, asking him to testify for the defence at the Hague Tribunal.
The former president of Republika Srpska has asked Bakir Izetbegovic, son of the late Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic, to testify in order to allow the Hague Tribunal, ICTY, to understand the full context of the events during the war.
Karadzic said he would ask Izetbegovic about the wartime activities of the Bosnian Presidency in obtaining arms in violation of the United Nations arms embargo, as well as allegations that the Bosnian government staged shelling incidents in Sarajevo as a means of expediting international intervention.
Karadzic also thanked Izetbegovic for his interest in his court case, as evidenced by his letter to the ICTY Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz last month.
In the letter Izetbegovic encouraged Brammertz to appeal the recent decision of the Trial Chamber to acquit Karadzic of the charge of genocide in seven municipalities of Bosnia during 1992.
“Frankly, I was surprised by your public expression of dissatisfaction with that decision. It doesn't seem like a productive way to assist in the reconciliation of our people."
"Your government spent millions to persuade the International Court of Justice that genocide had been committed in the municipalities and you lost. That court decided in 2007that the events did not constitute genocide. I don't understand why you would expect the ICTY to decide any differently, ” wrote Karadzic.
Karadzic added that he hoped that Izetbegovic had the agreement of other members of the Presidency to write such a letter.
“I also hope that you do not interject yourself that way in cases pending before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Playing that kind of role which mixes politics and law makes bad law and even worse politics,” added Karadzic.
In his letter, Karadzic explains that he is writing to Izetbegovic in English as a “diplomatic solution” since he speaks Serbian and Izetbegovic Bosnian.
Karadzic, former president of Republika Srpska and the supreme commander of its army, denies charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In June, Karadzic had attempted to have 11 charges against him dismissed. The ICTY ruled that the prosecution had presented sufficient evidence for ten out of the 11 counts of the indictment but it acquitted him on charges for genocide in seven municipalities in Bosnia. The prosecution has filed an appeal against this decision.
Karadzic's trial started in October 2009, and the prosecution finished presenting its evidence last month. The defence is due to begin presenting its evidence in October.
To the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, was a true sensation, and one to be exploited day after day.
In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.