Sonja Karadzic insists father 'innocent'





Sonja Karadzic was a very familiar presence to those of us who reported the war in Bosnia in the early 1990s.

Ms Karadzic told me how she had no contact with her father for five years. She and her mother had begun the legal process in Bosnia to have him declared officially dead.

In an exclusive interview with the BBC, she has given the first real insight into how her father will defend himself at the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague when his trial begins - probably later this year.

Then, in July last year, a friend telephoned to tell her she had heard on television that her father - the former Bosnian Serb leader, who had led his people in a war to divide Bosnia along ethnic lines - had been arrested in Belgrade.

Her father is accused of multiple acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, extermination, and forced deportation.

Among the charges he faces is responsibility for the siege and bombardment, by his forces, of Sarajevo. The indictment accuses his men of inflicting terror on the civilian population for 44 months.

Allan Little: So do you accept that your father has responsibility for that?

SK: No. I can't accept that because I really know - I was there and I worked with him all the time. He can't be responsible for such things.

His daughter says he was shocked when he learned, in July 1995, that thousands of Muslim men and boys had been murdered - but that he bears no responsibility.

When I asked her about this, she made the extraordinary claim that Bill Clinton, the then US president, bears the main responsibility for what was the worst massacre on European soil since World War II.



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