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UN War Crimes Tribunal Rejects Karadzic Immunity Claims

The United Nations war crimes tribunal has ruled that any deal granting immunity from prosecution to an indicted suspect would be invalid.

Tribunal judges in The Hague Thursday ruled that a reported deal granting former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic immunity would be irrelevant because it would violate international law.

Karadzic claims U.S. peace envoy Richard Holbrooke had agreed to a deal granting the former Bosnian Serb leader immunity from prosecution if he withdrew from public life. Holbrooke denies having made such a deal.

But the court ordered the prosecution to give Karadzic any documents from July 1996 meetings with Holbrooke, including those that may outline the immunity negotiations.

The tribunal indicted Karadzic on genocide and war crimes charges for his role in Serb attacks on civilians during the conflict of the 1990s in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Serbian police arrested Karadzic in Belgrade in July, after he spent more than 12 years as one of the world's most wanted fugitives.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.