I planned to turn myself in years ago, says Karadzic

Radovan Karadzic has claimed he considered giving himself up to war crimes judges more than 10 years ago.The former Bosnian Serb leader – who faces war crime charges at the Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia in the Hague in the Netherlands – told Austrian magazine profil: “I was ready to appear in front of the tribunal in 1997 or 1998.”The former President of Republika Srpska, who was arrested in 2008, explained: “We offered investigators to check the archives of Republika Srpska. We realised they were only interested in documents confirming their theories – and ignored files that relieved us (regarding our activities in the Balkan Wars).”Karadzic accused prosecutors of the tribunal in The Hague of “not being interested in justice”.He said: “I was not waiting for the tribunal to stop its work when I went into hiding – but I hoped that the western world would change its attitude towards the Bosnian crisis. I was hoping that the truth about who did what would come out. Now I will create this process in my trail.”Karadzic made clear last year he would defend himself in the upcoming trial. The 65-year-old told the weekly magazine he was currently spending 15 hours a day preparing for the procedures.”I have to go through almost two million pages of material that the prosecution provided me with. I also have to weave in my own material,” he said.Karadzic claimed recently Richard Holbrooke, assigned to be chief negotiator by the United States to bring peace to the Balkan region, suggested in 1996 he would not face charges if he retired from politics.Karadzic, who is accused of genocide, said: “I do not think anyone doubts that such an agreement was made. How do those making agreements with Holbrooke in Afghanistan and Pakistan nowadays know whether they are worth anything?”Holbrooke was appointed by US president Barack Obama to become the USA’s special representative in the two Asian countries.Asked what he thought about Austrian writer Peter Handke’s outspoken support of the Serbian people for which he has been widely criticised, Karadzic said: “What I admire Handke for the most is that he is an independent thinker. He is willing to find out the truth that lies behind all those media campaigns and CNN sound bites. That is how intellectuals should act.”He added: “I admire his authorial work, but I especially admire Handke for his courage.”Magazine profil revealed in its article today (Fri) that the Hague waited months before permitting the publication of the alleged war criminal’s answers to the nine questions posed which the magazine profil posed to him last March.The political magazine, however, also pointed out that Karadzic was ordered to leave out parts of his initial answers, and that they were kept from printing three of his answers since they allegedly “portrayed the court unfairly and incorrectly”.Karadzic argued prosecutors having been making claims about him and his actions in press conferences since 1995, with nobody suggesting that they should be forced to stop communicating with the press. He also stressed that none of his answers contained secret information. Karadzic also highlighted that they would not harm safety at the prison where he has been put in custody awaiting trial. He claimed the authorities have overstepped the line with their censoring. The Austrian magazine was eventually allowed to publish censored versions of his four written replies.