Correcting a Statement I Made on the BBC
I just finished giving an interview about the Karadzic case to the BBC’s World Today program. It was, to say the least, a shocking experience. I assumed that they wanted to ask about Dr. Karadzic’s decision to boycott the beginning of the trial — why he made it, what it means for the trial, etc. My bad! Instead, the first question was — literally — “why doesn’t Dr. Karadzic have the courage to attend the trial?” And the last question was — also literally — “what evidence does Dr. Karadzic have that he is not guilty”? So instead of explaining why Dr. Karadzic feels he is not prepared to begin trial, over which reasonable people can certainly disagree, I had to spend my entire time on the air explaining the presumption of innocence, the importance of which should certainly be beyond dispute at this point. It was a very disappointing interview — I really, if naively, expected better of the BBC. I will think long and hard before I speak to them again.
That said, I wanted to correct a misstatement I made during the interview. I claimed, in my shock at the questions, that the indictment does not allege that Dr. Karadzic is responsible for failing to prevent and punish the crimes of his subordinates. He is, of course, charged with command responsibility under Art. 7(3) of the ICTY Statute. I regret the error, and I apologize to my listeners for making it.
P.S. It is worth noting, regarding a debate I’ve been having with one of our readers about whether I should be referring to Dr. Karadzic as “Dr.,” that the BBC referred to him as Dr. Karadzic throughout their report.