International Information Centre for Balkan Studies


The only prosecution for which Karadzic was acquitted in The Hague was again divided by Serbs and Bosniaks

March 22, 2019

The verdict that the first president and war commander of the Republic of Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, was sentenced to life imprisonment for himself, brought two important issues and both shared the public.

On the one hand, the fact that the war criminal was punished by a 40-year sentence was increased to the maximum, which individuals view as an injustice, and the victims' families and much of the world as "the satisfaction of justice". On the other hand, the fact that Karadzic was not convicted of genocide in seven municipalities in B&H was not convicted in a final judgment. At the same time, this is one count of the indictment, which he was not found guilty. For some it is "devastating", for others - good news.

With the absence of genocide convictions outside Srebrenica, ie in seven municipalities in B&H, the connoisseurs agree, the second-instance verdict placed a point on Bosniak tendencies to prove that there were genocides on the wider territory of B&H.

This is exactly what caused Bosnians and dissatisfaction with Bosniaks, and on the other, as well as several times to now, once again made a deviation from, not so rarely, the accusations at the expense of the Serbs in the global.

Lifelong slave - symbolism or something more

One of the things that was also pointed out yesterday is a revised 40-year sentence for life imprisonment. For some she was expected, while others see it as symbolic, given Karadzic's years (73).

A Belgrade lawyer with great experience in the former Hague Tribunal, Branislav Tapuskovic, says that, with Karadzic's verdict yesterday, "the genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina is practically finished."

- We will have to wait for another, second instance verdict Ratko Mladić, although I do not believe that there is something important to change in it when it comes to seven municipalities - he says for Blic.

As he explains, it is true that it might have been expected that there might be some changes in the second instance verdict, which could be a reason for re-examining Republika Srpska-B&H relations, but that did not happen.

- The Croatian president said yesterday that she expected to determine the relationship between the army of Yugoslavia and the events in B&H, in the sense of the aggression of Serbia in B&H, but there is no, so the expectations were disappointed in her, but also in B&H, where they also expected - the story he.

And precisely what he says is the attitude of the Croatian government, which in its statement stated that "on the basis of evidence and other verdicts it should have been connected with the political and military top of the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, under the leadership of Slobodan Milosevic".


That was precisely the expectations among the Bosniaks, and they called the individual a farsa, saying that the key part of the indictment was rejected, despite the evidence that serious crimes were committed in 1992 in areas like Prijedor that were not affected by war.

- A verdict was put on the genocide project primarily against Bosniaks committed in 1992 to 1995, in the western part of BiH, as well as in the north-east and east of the country (the move from Bijeljina to Trebinje) - said Sarajevo professor Denis Grac to DW .

The surviving victims of genocide look at the verdict

According to him, "the centralization of the evil against Srebrenica, a systematic crime in the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been acquitted."

He called the life sentence of Grac prison "filigree sensationalism", pointing out that the determination of the criminal sanction was reduced to "blurring the eyes of the public, to the politics that compromised the historical importance of the ICTY."

Otherwise, the responsibility of Radovan Karadzic for genocide in seven municipalities in BiH was not established in the first instance verdict. In support of the likelihood of remaining so, the court's judgments from The Hague tribunal, which no one was convicted of genocide in the seven municipalities, testify.


Without genocide throughout the territory of B&H

Also, neither in the procedure that B&H has brought against Serbia (more precisely FRY) before the International Court of Justice, BiH has failed to prove that Serbia had intended to commit genocide throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor to destroy the Muslim-Bosniak population of B&H. The verdict of that court states that Serbia can not be held responsible for the genocide committed in Srebrenica by the Republika Srpska forces.

 European Court of Justice

The conclusion of this court is that other crimes committed by Serb military forces during the 1992-1995 war remain at the level of war crimes, and can not be qualified as genocide.

Unofficial translation from source: https://www.blic.rs/vesti/politika/radovan-karadzic-dozivotna-presuda-hag-srebrenica-genocid/kzw5sn5

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