Karadzic gets 40-year jail term for genocide in Srebrenica
Former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, was found guilty of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide and nine other war crimes charges, United Nations (UN) judges said yesterday, sentencing him to 40 years in prison.
Karadzic, 70, the most senior political figure to be convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal (ICC) for former Yugoslavia, was found guilty of 10 out of 11 charges.
He was acquitted of a second count of genocide in Bosnian towns. He was found responsible for crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution, in the municipalities of Bosnia, one of the two principle charges he faced.
He was acquitted of the first account of genocide in connection with the municipalities but found guilty of the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, Europe’s worst since World War II, in which 8,000 Muslims died.
The former psychiatrist, who once headed the self-styled Bosnian Serb Republic and held the title of supreme commander of its armed forces, was arrested in 2008 after 11 years on the run.
The only more senior official to face justice before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was the late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who died in custody a decade ago before a verdict was reached.
Ratko Mladic, the general who commanded Bosnian Serb forces, was the last suspect to be detained over the Srebrenica slaughter and is also in a UN cell awaiting judgment.
“I expect justice to win . . . and that he (Karadzic) will be sentenced for the killings,” said Munira Subasic, whose son was among the victims of Srebrenica.
The “verdict is very important to show new generations, especially those in Serbia who have been poisoned with hatred already, what really happened in Bosnia”, she said.
The Srebrenica massacre and the years-long Serb siege of Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo, with which Karadzic is also charged, were events that turned world opinion against the Serbs and prompted NATO air strikes that brought the war to an end.
Karadzic defended himself through his 497-day trial and called 248 witnesses, poring over many of the millions of pages of evidence with the help of a court-appointed legal adviser.