Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic was protected by the United States until a CIA phone bug caught him breaking the terms of his 'deal', Serb newspaper Blic reported Saturday, quoting a US intelligence source.
Partly echoing what Karadzic himself told the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in his opening written submission, the paper claims Karadzic was secretly granted immunity in return for keeping a low profile.
"Karadzic, indicted for genocide and war crimes, was under the US protection until 2000, when the CIA intercepted his telephone conversation that clearly proved he personally chaired a meeting of his old political party," the daily quoted a "well-informed US intelligence source" as saying.
In a submission to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Karadzic said the US peace negotiator in Bosnia, Richard Holbrooke, had promised he would avoid trial if he withdrew from public life.
Holbrooke has insisted that no such deal existed.
The Blic source said: "I'm not sure there was a written document confirming so, but I do have Holbrooke's admission of verbal guarantees given to Karadzic from the highest level of the US." (MORE)