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Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has become the first
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has become the first UN Hague tribunal war crimes suspect to be allowed to give an interview to the media, Serbia's B92 radio reported on Friday.

Permission to interview Karadzic was given to Zvezdana Vukojevic, who works for the Dutch magazine Revu. The journalist will be allowed to have contact with Karadzic by writing, telephone or other means, but will not be permitted to visit him in jail, the radio station said.

War crimes suspects at the tribunal have previously been unofficially interviewed by media representatives. However, this is the first time in the tribunal's 15-year-history that a journalist has gained official permission to do so.

Karadzic, 63, was arrested in late July in Belgrade after more than a decade on the run. He faces 11 charges, including genocide and war crimes. He refused to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty in August, and has said he will not get a fair trial.

In November, the tribunal rejected a request for the interview, fearing that Karadzic could use it as a political platform. The former Bosnian Serb leader appealed the decision.

The Serbian B92 radio said that one of the topics in the interview could concern an alleged deal between Karadzic and U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke.

Karadzic claims that Holbrooke had promised him immunity from prosecution by the UN tribunal in a 1996 deal under which he had stepped down as president and disappeared from public life. Holbrooke has denied any deal with Karadzic.


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