News 03 Dec 12

US Won't Allow Wesley Clark to Testify for Karadzic

The US government has refused to allow General Wesley Clark to testify in the defence of Radovan Karadzic, claiming his testimony “would not corroborate the defendant’s assertions”.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo

The former president of Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, asked the US government to allow him to call Clark to testify about two meetings he had during the Bosnian war, one with the fellow Hague defendant, Ratko Mladic, and the other with the deceased Bosnian president, Alija Izetbegovic.  

Karadzic believes that Mladic, fromer chief of Bosnian Serb army, told General Clark in August 1994 that he was ready to sign a cease-fire and was “anxious to end the war”.  

Karadzic also believes that a year later, in 1995, Clark promised Izetbegovic that the US would militarily intervene on the side of the Bosniak-Croat Federation if Serbs did not end the war.

Karadzic explained he believes this promise by the US was the “motive for the Bosnian Muslims to stage the Markale II massacre on August 28, 1995”.
 
However, in a letter signed by the deputy legal counsellor of the US government, Paul Veidenheimer, it is explained that Clark recalls meeting both Mladic and Izetbegovic in 1994 and 1995 respectively.

Clark explains, though, that he specifically asked Mladic to sign a peace agreement, but that the former commander of the Bosnian Serb army refused.

He also said that no promises were given to Izetbegovic, because he was “not authorized to make promises, only ask questions and gather facts and impressions”.

“In light of the information provided by General Clark concerning the two meetings above, his testimony would not corroborate the assertions made by Karadzic, nor would it support his argument regarding relevance. Accordingly, the US government will not authorize testimony by General Clark at this time”, says the letter.

Karadzic faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the Bosnian war, including the Srebrenica genocide and the siege of Sarajevo.

The indictment alleges that a mortar shell that killed 43 and wounded 75 citizens at the Markale market on August 28, 1995, was fired from Bosnian Serb positions around the city.

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Background

Karadzic: War Criminal or Poet?

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.  

Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed

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.

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