Study: U.S. gave assurances to Karadzic

March 22, 2009 at 9:38 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- Accused Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic's claims that the United States promised he wouldn't be prosecuted are backed by diplomats, a study says.

Karadzic, the former Bosnia Serb leader who has been charged with genocide by the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, has long claimed that senior U.S. State Department official Richard Holbrooke promised him immunity from prosecution in exchange for abandoning power after the Bosnian war, a claim Holbrooke has repeatedly denied.

A study published by Purdue University claims three unnamed senior State Department officials and several others contend Holbrooke did indeed assure Karadzic in July 1996 that he would not be prosecuted if he left politics, The New York Times reported Sunday.

In a written statement to The Times, Holbrooke said: "No one in the U.S. government ever promised anything, nor made a deal of any sort with Karadzic."

He noted Karadzic stepped down in the summer of 1996 under intense U.S. pressure, The Times said.

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