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PROSECUTION: ‘IMUNITY AGREEMENT’ OF NO INFLUENCE TO THE CASE
The prosecution has demanded that the judges dismiss the motion filed by Radovan Karadzic to search the archives and obtain information related to his alleged agreement with Richard Holbrooke. ‘Even if material concerning the alleged immunity agreement existed, it would be legally irrelevant to the present proceedings”, the prosecution maintains in its motion
In his latest motion filed to the Trial Chamber in early November 2008, Radovan Karadzic repeated his request for a permission to search the prosecution archives and to obtain documents related to the alleged ‘immunity agreement’ with Richard Holbrooke in July 1996. This week, the prosecution asked that Karadzic’s motion be dismissed. According to the prosecution, ‘even if material concerning the alleged immunity agreement existed, it would be legally irrelevant to the present proceedings”.
As alleged by the prosecution, the immunity agreement ‘even if proved, would be devoid of legal effect before this Tribunal, it is not material for the preparation of Karadzic’s defense and it could not suggest Karadzic’s innocence or mitigate his guilt’. The prosecution also contends that “customary international law prohibits granting an amnesty to an individual accused of the most serious violations of international criminal law; crimes Karadzic is charged with fall within that category.
Radovan Karadzic is charged with genocide committed from 31 March to 31 December 1992 in ten municipalities in BH as well as with genocide from July to November 1995 in Srebrenica when more than 7,000 men and boys were killed. Karadzic also faces charges of detention, torture, rape and sexual assaults, destruction of religious and cultural monuments, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane treatment, taking UN members hostage and using them as human shields in May and June 1995.
Karadzic has demanded that the prosecution disclose all information related to failed attempts to arrest him after 18 July 1996 and the information about Richard Holbrooke’s power to put proposals to the accused on behalf of the international community. Karadzic also wants access to information about the relations between the USA and the OTP, and the support the USA has given to the prosecution in personnel and resources. According to the prosecution, this request was ‘too broad’. “It would be an inefficient use of resources to require the Prosecution to trawl through its voluminous evidence collection in search of the broad categories of documents that Karadzic requests if the alleged immunity agreement would, in any event, be legally irrelevant to the proceedings”, the prosecution contends. As the prosecution noted in its reply, the Trial Chamber has already decided in the past that the ‘defense will not be allowed to rely on generalized descriptions of information it requests’. Therefore, the prosecution concluded, Karadzic’s motion must be dismissed.