Karadzic seeks arms trafficking report from Belgium

25th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Rodovan Karadzic wants Belgium to release documents in an arms trafficking probe which he would use at his genocide trial, a Belgian justice spokesman said Wednesday.

The request from Karadzic's legal team was transmitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, based in The Hague, to the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, the spokesman said.

One of his three legal advisers, Peter Robinson, told the newspaper La Libre Belgique that Karadzic wants to show that Croatia and Bosnia received weapons despite a UN arms embargo.

"It is to prove that members of the UN violated the arms embargo during the war in Bosnia and gave the Bosnian army weapons that were used to attack Serb villages around Srebrenica," Robinson was quoted as saying.

"We also see on the witness stand witnesses who accuse Karadzic of violating UN resolutions. He wants to prove that member countries violated these resolutions themselves," Robinson said.

Karadzic wants documents related to Jacques Monsieur, a notorious Belgian arms dealer being held in the United States since his arrest at a New York airport in August 2009 on charges of trying to smuggle fighter-jet parts to Iran.

In 2002, a Brussels court sentenced Monsieur to more than three months behind bars for selling weapons including grenade launchers and missile parts to Iran, China, Ecuador, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia in the 1980s and 1990s.

Karadzic, 65, faces 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide arising from Bosnia's 1992-95 war in which 100,000 people were killed and 2.2 million left homeless.

Among other accusations, he stands charged with genocide in connection with the massacre of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995.

Arrested in July 2008 after 13 years on the run, he is acting as his own defence lawyer.

© 2010 AFP

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