My Soda with Radovan (Addendum Added)

by Kevin Jon Heller

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I met my client yesterday for the first time.  For obvious reasons, I cannot recount the substance of what he, I, and his legal associate, Peter Robinson, discussed.  But I thought readers might be interested in my impressions of the visit and my sense of Dr. Karadzic, which bears little resemblance to the image portrayed in the media.

First, the UN Detention Unit itself.  You can see what it looks like in the photo above.  The prison is located in a very nice part of The Hague; indeed, it is abutted by a series of pretty little row houses.  As an American, that was a bit of a shock – we hide our prisons in the middle of nowhere, especially those that house inmates convicted of the very worst crimes.  (Compare the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, which housed Timothy McVeigh and continues to house Omar Abdel Rahman, Jose Padilla, the Unabomber, and Eric Rudolph.)

Once inside, the Detention Unit resembles most any prison: lockers for your stuff, a badge identifying you as a visitor (which I wished I could have kept), a metal detector.  Peter and I made it into the first waiting area, where we chatted with the Orthodox priest who was scheduled to hold a Christmas mass for Dr. Karadzic and the other Serbian detainees until the guards came to escort us to the visitation area.  We passed through two more controlled doors, then walked to the cell block that houses the ICTY detainees.  The cell block itself was barren and overgrown with weeds on the outside and rather dingy inside — very much 70s institutional style, all beige and plastic.  Having seen it first-hand, I am more than a little bemused by the ICTY website, which tries to convey the impression that the Detention Unit is almost Club Med.  The photos on the website were obviously taken for the media’s consumption after a thorough spring cleaning.

Once inside the cell block, the guard showed us into one of the small meeting rooms.  We sat down and chatted for a few minutes until Dr. Karadzic arrived.  (Peter told me an amazing, and more than a little surreal, story about sitting with Dr. Karadzic in the same room and watching Charles Taylor shoot baskets in the exercise yard.)  I have to confess that I wasn’t at all sure what to expect, given everything the media has said about him.  But I felt at ease the moment I met him — a reaction facilitated, no doubt, by his casual clothes, warm smile, and the blue plastic box full of drinks, snacks, and documents that he was carrying.  He shook my hand, introduced himself, and told me how happy he was that I was in The Hague and how much he appreciated everything I was doing for him.  He then gave Peter a Fanta grape soda — his favorite, Dr. Karadzic told me — and asked me to choose between that, an orange soda, and a Coke.  Following in Peter’s footsteps, as I often do, I went grape.  We then all sat down, and I spent the next five minutes or so telling Dr. Karadzic, at his request, a little about myself and about how I came to be involved in the case.  The conversation then veered into more substantive matters that I am not at liberty to discuss.

That said, I can offer a few comments about what Dr. Karadzic is like.  None of the following is spin, although readers are certainly entitled to be skeptical.

The first thing I noticed was how at peace he seemed to be.  I’ve sat across the table from enough accused criminals to know when someone is putting on a show for me.  Dr. Karadzic wasn’t.  He has no illusions about his situation, but he emphasized again and again that he wants the trial to be about the facts and the law — not about him.  He has obviously accepted the possibility — indeed, the overwhelming likelihood — that he will never again be a free man.  That cannot be a happy prospect, but he genuinely seems okay with it.  As he said to us, he can read and write and think anywhere.

I was also struck by Dr. Karadzic’s evident intelligence.  He speaks very good English, is extremely well-read and articulate, and has a keen interest in world politics.  Indeed, we spent as much time discussing the situation in Gaza as we did the situation in the former FRY.  (We also discussed Monty Python’s Life of Brian, but that is definitely a protected conversation.)

Finally, I came away from our meeting feeling very comfortable with Dr. Karadzic’s decision to represent himself.  I would, of course, prefer that he hire Peter as his legal counsel. But nothing he said to me indicates that his behavior in the courtroom will bear any resemblance to Milosevic, much less to Seselj.  I don’t know whether he believes that the ICTY is legitimate; I didn’t ask him.  I do know, though, that he views his trial as an opportunity to challenge the ICTY’s often problematic jurisprudence and to ensure that the Tribunal’s official narrative of the events in the former FRY does not exclude the Serbian view.  Moreover, I know that he recognizes his limitations and appreciates the legal advice that he is receiving from Peter, from me, and from the many academics and law students we have brought into the case.

I understand why the media simply assumes that Dr. Karadzic is guilty, although I wish they would wait to convict him until after they have seen the evidence and heard the legal arguments.  What I don’t understand is why they insist upon portraying him as a crazed lunatic who lives only to follow in Seselj’s footsteps.  (See, for example, this article from the normally excellent Institute for War & Peace Reporting.)  Such armchair psychologizing has absolutely no basis in fact, accomplishes nothing, and runs the risk of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Then again, the media is only part of the problem.  The Registry has taken the indefensible position that Dr. Karadzic is not entitled to give interviews, because media contact would undermine the security of the Detention Unit by exposing its inner workings to the public (despite the fact that you can take a video tour of the Unit on the ICTY website) and would run the risk of “sensational reporting” (unlike Serge Brammertz’s public insistence that he will “unequivocally prove” Dr. Karadzic’s guilt).  With such draconian restrictions imposed on Dr. Karadzic — even though, at this point, he has not been convicted of anything — it is impossible to counter the negative images of him that circulate endlessly in the media.

Anyway, so it goes.  No one ever said that advising the world’s most notorious criminal defendant would be easy.  Regardless of the difficulties that lie ahead, meeting Dr. Karadzic was a remarkable experience — one that I won’t soon forget.

ADDENDUM: In response to a comment and a few private emails, I just want to make clear that I am advising Dr. Karadzic out of principle, not for pecuniary gain.  My work on the case is pro bono — I have not, and will never, receive a penny for my efforts.

http://opiniojuris.org/2009/01/08/my-soda-with-radovan/

33 Responses

  1. Well, Kevin, did you really expect him to look like this?

    <img src=”http://www.theforce.net/kids/coruscant/probe_droid/palpatine.jpg” width=”400″ height=”300″ alt=”Evil Palpatine” />

    Of course he is going to do his best to look more like this

    <img src=”http://lonestartimes.com/images/Bramanti/palpatine.jpg” width=”320″ height=”283″ alt=”Apparently Benign Palpatine” />

    (Incidentally, unopened soda cans are probably okay, but I wouldn’t be accepting any food from him if I were you.)

  2. God, why aren’t these html tags working? I hate to see a good joke (well, taste-dependent) go to waste…

  3. Good post. More please.

  4. During my brief work in an NGO that focused in the situation in prisons in Panama City, Panama, I would often find people questioning my commitment to human rights because according to them I was defending the rights of people that should not have rights at all. Judging from your previous posts on the issue and considering that you client is, as you point out “the world’s most notorious criminal defendant”, I can only imagine how unhelpful for you public opinion is going to be in years to come.
    Although Marko does have a point in his joke, it also brings to mind Michel Foucault’s 1974-1975 lectures at the College de France, published under the title of “Abnormal.” Dr. Karadzic is already is been casted as the evil palatine in the long ICTY saga, and although I can’t blame the victims of that war for doing that, it does feel like society has not evolved much in the last 200 years. We still see the supposed criminals as abnormal persons that have to be taken out of our sight.

  5. Thank you for this interesting post.

    Looking forward to your lecture in Asser Institute too.

  6. I believe that image tags are intentionally disabled for this forum, as they can either destroy formatting, or, in some rare cases, allow the server and/or end-user computers to be compromised.

    I found Mr. Heller’s story quite illuminating.

  7. Kevin Jon Heller is only the latest Westerner to internalize the 
    talking points of a demagogue as if they were true.  Those who 
    remember the Bosnian war will remember President Clinton’s 
    administration repeating Slobodan Milosevic’s argument that nothing 
    could be done about the problems in Bosnia because they stemmed from 
    “ancient hatreds,” an argument historians of the Balkans had 
    thoroughly debunked.  Military leaders in the West also echoed 
    Milosevic’s line that Western military intervention would mean an 
    endless war for the West, since Serbia had “tied down six German 
    divisions in World War II.”

    And now, Mr. Heller, charmed by his genial host in The Hague, repeats 
    the view of Karadzic and his followers that the media is to blame for 
    the world’s image of Karadzic.  Of the media, Heller writes:   “What I 
    don’t understand is why they insist upon portraying him as a crazed 
    lunatic who lives only to follow in Seselj’s footsteps.”  Mr. Heller 
    might look at raw film footage of Mr. Karadzic taken without a media 
    filter and ask himself if Mr. Karadzic hasn’t given the world this 
    portrait all by himself.  There is the film of Mr. Karadzic from a 
    Bosnian parliamentary session in 1991 when, in a speech that might 
    most neutrally be described as “animated,” Mr. Karadzic threatened 
    Bosnian Muslims with “annihilation.”  And there are the well-known 
    Bosnian Serb home movies (now available on YouTube) of Mr. Karadzic 
    escorting a visiting Russian writer to observe Bosnian Serb snipers 
    and artillerymen as they fire on the besieged city of Sarajevo and its 
    civilians.  Indeed, Mr. Karadzic’s geniality as a host allows the 
    visiting Russian to play sniper and take a few shots himself.  Would 
    Mr. Heller have taken the same cheerful view of Mr. Karadzic had he 
    been offered a sniper’s rifle instead of a soda?

  8. The things we do to get ahead in the world… everyone may be deserving of legal representation in some abstract sense, but it’s still YOUR choice whether it’s you who is the one providing it.

  9. I fail to see how the examples cited by Janet Bogue counter the post. Karadzic may very well be guilty of terrible crimes, as the post acknowledges. That doesn’t mean that he is a raving lunatic. It is quite possible to be intelligent, well read, charming, and in control of oneself and to commit unspeakable evil. Indeed, that is the point of Hannah Arendt’s observations on the banality of evil.

  10. In her desire to make her political point, Janet Bogue completely misrepresents what I said.  The comment she quotes had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Karadzic’s guilt or innocence.  It referred solely to the media’s tendency to portray him as (1) mentally imbalanced as a result of his 12 years of being in hiding, and (2) intending to turn his trial into a farce, as Seselj has done with his trial.

    Next time, I suggest that Ms. Bogue reply to what I actually said, not what she imagines — wishes? — I said.

  11. As for “Kevin, Kevin, Kevin,” he or she simply regurgitates the dismissive criticism that is always leveled at defense attorneys.  The criticism refutes itself: if every defense attorney took that advice, controversial defendants would receive no counsel at all.

    But, of course, in “Kevin, Kevin, Kevin”‘s worldview, criminal defendants only deserve counsel in an “abstract” sense. That pretty much says it all.

  12. My comment and Bill’s were simultaneous.  My thanks to him.

  13. I understand the morality of advocacy, based on the premise that in a contest between well-qualified advocates, truth will emerge. I also understand the attraction of creative (Dr. Karadzic is the author of a book of childrens’ poetry; see my prior post re *Sarajevo Blues*), intelligent and sophisticated persons who rise to positions of power in the Balkans.
    I do not think that Dr. Karadzic is mentally ill; I think he is evil.  Not in the sense made famous as “banalilty” by Hannah Arendt in *Eichman in Jeruslaem*, nor in the sense defined by Christopher Browning in in *Ordinary Men*.  I mean “evil” in the sense of an intelligent, sustained, deliberate, malicious attempt to manipulate followers to believe that fellow human beings are the proximate cause of their suffering, and therefore appropriate targets for snipers.
    I am sure that Mr. Heller will perform his role with due diligence, professionalism, and the highest standards of care. I hope he fails for justice’s sake, and I hope that – for his sake, given his intelligence and his adherence to professional ethics -  – he never realizes the nature of the monster for whom he is working.

  14. It’s not so much the “banality of evil” as the banality and overwhelming self-absorption of Mr. Heller’s observations that strike one when reading this post. Despite (self-proclaimed) significant experience as a criminal lawyer, he is apparently still surprised that jails are institutional, furriners can speak English good, and alleged war criminals can be suave and charming.

    Although “dingy”, the Detention Unit’s meeting rooms must at least be pretty roomy if they can accommodate Dr. Karadzic, his extensive range of snacks, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Heller, and Mr. Heller’s ego.

  15. Actually its nothing new that Karadzic can turn on the charm and is quite an intelligent person. Foriegn and domestic journalists have noted this before, he has that quality of making a person want to like or believe him.
    I would add something to David Fisher’s comment above:

    ‘given his intelligence and his adherence to professional ethics -  – he never realizes the nature of the monster for whom he is working.’

    The burden that members of this burden have to carry is such that lawyers quite often develop an ability to deliberately behave naievely. I conversely wish that they would all open their eyes, in the end they are paid handsomely and in my opinion should have the emotional intelligence to accept that they may be doing an immoral but necessary job.

  16. This is an absolutely fascinating post… thanks for writing it.

  17. Response…Mr Heller, thanks for such a nice text. It’s rearity in this world to see someone who still possess soul in his body..
    Although it is not the topic, I would ask certain commentators are Clinton or Bush or Blair.. monsters? How many children were killed in Bosnia and Serbia by NATO bombing? And how many Serbs were expelled from Sarajevo or killed by muslims? You do not have to answer, just look into Your soul if You still possess it…Well, there was the war in which one had to defend himself and his own innocent people – that one was Dr Karadzic.

  18. The burden that members of this burden have to carry is such that lawyers quite often develop an ability to deliberately behave naievely. I conversely wish that they would all open their eyes, in the end they are paid handsomely and in my opinion should have the emotional intelligence to accept that they may be doing an immoral but necessary job.

    Two responses: (1) there is nothing immoral about defending someone accused of crimes, no matter how heinous those crimes may be; (2) for the record, I am advising Dr. Karadzic pro bono — I don’t receive a penny for my work.

  19. Would you defend Hitler out of principle?
    Can you expand on your principles?

    You won’t receive money but you will receive something else. Attention of the media. Paradoxically, this of course can lead to many things in your professional career.

    I’m glad meeting Radovan was a remarkable experience for you and the one that you won’t soon forget. While you’re in a stage of everlasting remembrance to the architect of murder please don’t forget the hundred thousand people that were systematically slaughtered. To plan and execute this indeed does take intelligence, mathematics to be precise.

    I hope you fail.

    I found your story quite illuminating (zing)

  20. The degree of contempt some readers feel for defense attorneys is genuinely distressing — as if those who defend people accused of horrible crimes cannot remember or feel sympathy for the victims of those crimes.  How anyone can consider themselves committed to human rights while caring nothing about the right to a fair trial is literally beyond me.

    As for defending Hitler: no, I would not have — but not because I don’t believe that he would have deserved an excellent defense had he lived to be tried by the IMT.  I would defend anyone, no matter what their alleged crimes, that I felt I could defend with the zeal that the right to a fair trial requires.  I could not have defended Hitler with that zeal, for the simple reason that I am a Jew of Polish and Russian descent and could never have been objective about Nazi crimes. 

    I completely understand why someone would want our team to fail and Dr. Karadzic to be convicted.  But anyone who does not want Dr. Karadzic to have a good defense because that will make him easier to convict should be ashamed of himself.

  21. It’s not contempt just bewilderment. I’m pretty sure you are capable of feeling sympathy for victims of any slaughter but you’re obviously very capable of  putting aside one’s personal reactions regardless of the situation and to carry on. That is, being professional. I’m pretty sure he’ll receive a free trial and that he’ll be convicted. Even he knows that. This doesn’t change the fact that you are lusting over Karadzic’s “human side”, that the media — the same one he used during the war to propel his mythology of east vs west — is to blame for not showing him in “true light” and that he has a right to a fair trial while the man accused took people’s right to live. Those who perished at the orders of this animal are unable to say “I can read and write and think anywhere”. You have to be a real tool to ignore this and remain professional.

    It’s just astonishing that you can wake up in the morning and write such enlightening prose (i.e. “Oh, my God, he drinks grape soda! Can I have one? This seems so normal to me”) about Karadzic –  especially given your background — and then say that you wouldn’t defend Hitler because of what he did to your people. What’s the difference between WWII Holocaust victims, Srebrenica genocide victims, innocent children in Gaza, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan and many others? Nothing. They were systematically murdered by evil distorted minds who were at peace with themselves, accepting of any situation, had evident intelligence, were well-read and articulate and, gee whiz, had interest in world politics.

    I think you understand but not completely since you never felt Karadzic’s wrath at work. This modern day hydra ordered people to death and decay. I don’t know how anyone after writing about him in revered light can call themselves good defense that will make him easier to convict. That’s a shame.

  22. For me its not a problem that everybody should have the right to a fair trial.
    What I’m talking about is the personal morality of lawyers who represent these characters. Personally speaking I would have trouble sleeping at night if I helped assist getting somebody proclaimed innocent, who I knew was guilty.

    How does that work exactly? I mean to represent a man like Karadzic one closes one’s eyes and tells oneself that the man is presumed innocent and he deserves to be defended? Or does one suspect that the man may well be guilty, but at the same time one will try to help get the man acquitted? Or the third option of convincing oneself that the man is innocent?

    Either way some kind of doublethink is necessary, or at least deliberate myopia, so that sanity (or morality) can be maintained.

    You mention principle as being the reason why you are willing to assist in his defence and that its pro-bono. Fair enough, but tell me where is the principle in admitting that as a Jew you wouldn’t represent Hitler, but you are happy to represent somebody else’s Hitler? (No I don’t think Karadzic was a Hitler, but nevertheless some see him that way). Again some pulling the wool over ones own eyes is necessary, its either that or to admit that it is rather unprincipled to be willing to represent one man accused of mass murder, but not another.

    I hear that Johhny Cochran was a good guy and respected by most in the profession, but we all know what he will be remembered for. I wonder at the end if he felt it was worth it?

  23. Janet Bogue…Karadzic did not “threatened 
    Bosnian Muslims with “annihilation”” but was warning them (Izetbegovic most likely) that their actions, and most importantly ideas, like Robert Nisbet once said, have consequences. Just read Izetbegovic’s Islamic Declaration and his call to Jihad.

  24. He is at peace, Serbian priests have blessed his (alleged) war crimes, rape camps and massacres. He thinks that god wanted him to act that way, and the church was involved on every step of the way in his (alleged) crimes. Wouldn’t you be at peace if you “knew” that g-d approved your actions, no matter what punishment you faced here on earth?

    Serbs have been brainswashed to think of themselves as “holy people” and that their medeival King Lazar choose death so serbs could have paradise here. In fact Lazar surrendered and the Church arranged for his teenage daughter to be given to the Turks to seal the vassalage:

    The Serbs were told that they were, in some sense, “super”. They were the best fighters on the planet, they could stand up to the entire world, and they were sanctioned by God himself, because of Tsar Lazar and the fact that Lazar had chosen the heavenly kingdom. Moreover, since Lazar had chosen the heavenly kingdom, the Serbs, encouraged to view themselves as Lazar’s heirs, were entitled to the earthly kingdom which Lazar had repudiated, as their patrimony.

    Google the last sentence to read it in entirety.

    Let not forget that he is living in relative luxury in Hague, no US State prison where he would have to watch his back.

  25. Dear Mr Fisher

    Regarding your comments:

    I mean “evil” in the sense of an intelligent, sustained, deliberate, malicious attempt to manipulate followers to believe that fellow human beings are the proximate cause of their suffering, and therefore appropriate targets for snipers.

    By this measure Messrs Clinton, Shae, Clarke and others complicit in bombing Serbia would also fit the same description. They too were responsible for scores of deaths.  They too are evil.

    Let us not forget for one moment that In Bosnia some 30,000 Serbian people were also killed.  Three thousand Serbian civillians were killed by Nasir Oric’s militia based in Srebrenica, at the time a UN safe haven.  That was in 1993.  Bosnian Serb leadership documented the deaths and submitted reports to the UN requesting action to prevent further atrocities on innocent civilians.  None was forthcoming.  Nasir Oric continued with his deadly enterprise and boasted to the media about his explits practically daily.  A brigade of 5,000 mujahidin and Al Qaeda operatives from Pakistan, Iran were active in Bosnia.  They preferred method of dealing with Serbs was behading.  Bosnia remains today the bastion of Islamic radicalism in Europe.  The 9/11 attacks on the World Towwers, the underground bombing in London and the train in Madrid were planned in Bosnia.

    Some 250,000 Serbs were expelled from Croatia, following the NATO-planned Operation Storm, leaving the total Serbian population in that country to less than 4%, when prior to WW2 it was 50%.  Same statistic is observed in Kosovo, the cradle of the Serbian nation.  Before WW2, Serbs represented more than 50% of Kosovo’s population, if you can view it that way, because Kosovo is a region of Serbia, Kosovo is Serbia, and in Serbia Albanians represented less than 10%.  Albanians committed scores of pogroms against Serbs, systematically, particularly after the 1981 riots in Prishtina.  An open door policy to illegal immigration from Albania proper during Tito’s era, and more recently aided by NATO’s military intervention in Kosovo, the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo is nearly complete. 

    Serbs have been on the receiving end of opression since they were overrun by the Ottomans.  There stands in Serbia a tower, Kele Kula (Skull Tower) constructed by the Ottomans from 700  skulls of beheaded Serbian men, a stark reminder of Serbia’s fighting spirit.  During WW2, the Nazis executed 100 Serbs for each German soldier killed by Serbia’s resistance.  The population of the city of Kragujevac was practically massacared by the Germans, the same fate as that of Nanjing at the hands of the Japanese, but on a small scale.  

    According to the British economist John Maynard Keynes, who was a member of the British delegation at Varseilles after the end of WW1, Serbia was the one nation that suffered the most of all the nations that participated in The Great War.  Some 60% of Serbia’s able men aged 18-60 were killed, or roughly one third of its entire population.

    During WW2, the Croatian Government ran a concentration camp at Jasenovac, near Zagreb where it is estimated some 700,000 people, mostly Serbs, and a smaller number of Romas and Jews were exterminated, by the Ustahe.

    In their quest to break-up Yugoslavia and rid the Balkans of the last vestige of socialism, the political leadership of EU/USA were too ready and willing to recognise the independence of Croatia and Bosnia in which lived a large number of Serbs.  In so doing, the international community recognised the internal but arttificial borders of those countries, including now Kosovo as the defacto international borders, enriching them with larger territory than would otherwise be afforded them, and reducing many Serbs to a foreigner status requiring a passport to visit their relatives in another village or town.

    The territorial displacement of Serbs in those countries is unjust and were the spark that triggered the unrest in the former Yugoslavia.  GIven the history, blind fredyy could have predicted the hostilities following the break-up. Europe and USA bear sole responsibility for this.  They armed Croats and Bosnians and Slovenes, and fanned the flames of racial division.  Yugoslavia could have bee  broken up peacefully, if that was the wish of the people, but the problem for Europe and USA was that there were then and still are today too many Serbs with Slavic roots and Russian orientation that stood in the way of EU’s and NATO’s eastward expansion.  Afterall a Serbian general, Miloradovic and a contingent of Serbs defended Moscow from Napoleon’s army in 1812 whose army had among the French soldiers Croats and Albanians. 

    The above is a small snippet of the fate of the Serbian people.  None similar in tragedy and scale can be found for Croats or Albanians, the main benefactors of the break up of Yugoslavia.

    Karadjic embodied the aspirations of the Serbian people to live in peace in their own land, after centuries of persecution and tragic existance.  He did what any political leader would do to rise to the ocassion and orginise the defences of the people in their gravest hour of need.  As indeed once EU/USA had embarked on dismembering Yugoslavia, Serbia’s hour of need had come.

  26. You seem not to understand what Clytemnestra and bganon have been saying to you.  You can be respected for defending the principal that everyone deserves a competent advocate to provide them with a fair hearing.  But there is something rather disturbing about the way you reduce this encounter to the level of a celeb interview in “Hello”.

  27. I do fully understand the the fundamental need for a fair trial – including the principle that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty in such a court of law. Dr Karadzic, like any other human being, is entitled to such a fair trial and that definitely requires a zelous defense and ‘equality of arms’ with the prosecution. However, two things about Mr Heller’s post distract me from those lynch pins of a civil and just society. First, I am shocked that an article which starts out claiming that it ‘cannot recount the substance’ of the author’s meetings with Dr Karadzic for apparent ethical reasons, then develops with a lack of gravitas which one reader rightly compared to a celebrity magazine . It does not exactly fit with the noble principles that protect a defendant’s right to a fair trial, nor does it pay much respect to the families of victims (who like the defedant, must wait for the Tribunal’s verdict for justice to obstensibly prevail) . Secondly, I find Mr Heller’s comment that he would decline to represent Hitler on the basis that his Jewish Polish heritage would mean he could not summon the requisite ‘zeal’ to do so. Inherently, that suggests that Mr Heller sees himself as fundamentally distinguished and unempathetic to the sufffering of Bosnian Muslims and Croats. An unfortunate suggestion from someone of his background and position and one that inadvertently violates any pretence of professional ethics. It begs the question, if Mr Heller was Bosnian Muslim/Croat, would he still find Dr Karadzic company so intelligent and comforting? But its beside the point. I go away feeling a little disillusioned in terms of the rights of defendants to vigourous counsel and due process of the law. I find the whole business of a blog on such matters a little gratuitous.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. [...] My Soda with Radovan | Opinio Juris – I can offer a few comments about what Dr. Karadzic is like.  None of the following is spin, although readers are certainly entitled to be skeptical. [...]

  2. [...] Kevin Jon Heller: He then gave Peter a Fanta grape soda—his favorite, Dr. Karadzic told me—and asked me to choose between that, an orange soda, and a Coke. Following in Peter’s footsteps, as I often do, I went grape. [...]

  3. [...] wanted to link to this post about meeting Radovan Karadzic in prison. The writer comes across as a bit naive — gosh, the ICTY cell block is dingy! Karadzic, a [...]

  4. [...] Heller has an extremely interesting post on his first meeting with Radovan Karadzic in the UN Detention Unit in the Hague. It’s a [...]

  5. [...] in Prosecutor v Radovan Karadžić. This decision inter alia concerns whether statements made on Opinio Juris by one of Karadžić’s legal advisers can serve as an evidence for establishing that Karadžić [...]

  6. [...] that everything be translated into Serbian and use cyrillic script. The Chamber refers to recent blog entries by Kevin John Heller at Opinio Juris as evidence that the defendant is comfortable [...]

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