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Home arrow Law arrow United States law and policy on transitional justice : principles, politics, and pragmatics
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B. TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE OPTIONS POSSIBLY AND ACTUALLY IMPLEMENTED ALONGSIDE THE ICTY

Conditional Amnesty

On July 25, 1995, the ICTY indicted Karadzic, charging him with atrocities committed at Srebrenica and in other parts of the Balkans. After successfully evading capture for many years, he was finally arrested on July 21, 2008, and transferred to the ICTY nine days later.106

Karadzic, often referred to as the “Butcher of Bosnia,”107 claims that, in July 1996 (between his indictment and arrest), USG officials, particularly former U.S. ambassador Richard Holbrooke, promised him that the ICTY would drop its case if he left politics. Karadzic’s claim is supported by, among others, three senior U.S./DoS officials, two of whom agree that “Holbrooke did the right thing and got the job done.” As a result of Holbrooke’s alleged promise, Karadzic asserted (because he voluntarily resigned from office and withdrew from public life) that he is entitled to immunity before the ICTY. The ICTY ruled this assertion to be inaccurate even if Holbrooke had made the deal because Karadzic’s alleged offenses were so egregious that he could not be immunized. Holbrooke denied ever having offered Karadzic this deal.108 Scheffer supports Holbrooke’s account of the matter.109

 
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