Friday, August 1, 2008

Former Bosnian Foreign Minister Mohammad Sacirbey confirms US-Karadzic deal

Press TV reports:

Mohammad Sacirbey, former Bosnian foreign minster says that US diplomat, Richard Holbrooke made an unambiguous political deal with Serb leader Radavan Karadzic.

Sacirbey pointing out that he has been telling this story for more than a decade now, said the Holbrooke-Karadzic pact called for Karadzic to give up leadership of his political party and to drop out of public life in return for his already existing war crimes indictment being scrapped.

In an exclusive interview with a Press TV correspondent, Sacirbey confirmed that a top US diplomat, Robert Frowick, head of the OSCE mission in Bosnia in 1996 was his source for the information of the Holbrooke-Karadzic deal. Sacirbey described Frowick as an unimpeachable point of reference.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic made his first appearance at the UN's Yugoslav war crimes tribunal on Thursday charged with genocide.

Karadzic alleged in his remarks to the court that he had made a deal in 1996 with then top US negotiator Richard Holbrooke to drop out of public life in return for his war crimes indictment being dropped.

The US has always denied the Karadzic family's claims that a deal was made. Now the straightforward statements of former foreign minister Sacirbey raises an obvious contradiction to American claims and heightens the tensions around the Karadzic trial, as no one knows what other potential bombshells he might drop next or whether the court will allow him to speak.

In a July 26 interview with Germany's Spiegel Online International, Holbrooke was asked about rumors that he had told Karadzic that if he retired from politics, he wouldn't be sent to the war crimes tribunal. "Those are lies I do not comment on any longer," Holbrooke said at the time.

Elsewhere, Holbrooke, who was the architect of the Dayton peace agreement that belatedly ended the Bosnian conflict and the ethnic cleansing and genocide against Europe's only indigenous Muslim population, said in an interview aired on CNN on Thursday, that he won a commitment from Karadzic in July 1996 to step down from his political positions.

"I negotiated a very tough deal. He had to step down immediately from both his posts as president of the Serb part of Bosnia and as head of his party. And he did so," Holbrooke said in a recorded interview. Apparently Karadzic provided the quid pro quo of the agreement in his statements on Thursday

Click here to read Karadzic's full statement (in PDF format)