Life sentence for war criminal Karadzic

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Levenslang voor oorlogsmisdadiger Karadzic

Radovan Karadzic was on appeal to life imprisonment sentenced.

The former political leader of the Bosnian Serbs received a life sentence for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Hague beroepsrechtbank considered his earlier punishment is too light.

Radovan Karadzic (73), political leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the Bosnian civil war between 1992 and 1995, was announced today in an appeal sentenced to life imprisonment. That is a higher …

Radovan Karadzic (73), political leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the Bosnian civil war between 1992 and 1995, was announced today in an appeal sentenced to life imprisonment. That is a higher penalty than the forty years that he is, in 2016, received the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, for charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Against that judgment was Karadzic immediately appealed. He called the former process is unfair and his lawyers wanted acquittal. But the International Restmechanisme for criminal tribunals, which is the last business settles the former Yugoslavia that in 2017 the doors closed, and deemed the original penalty is just too light. Chairman of the beroepsrechtbank Vagn Joensen called the crimes with which Karadzic participated in, during a war in which an estimated hundred thousand people died, of an ‘extraordinary weight’.

The Hague court considers Karadzic responsible for the operations to be Bosnian muslims and Croats to expel from territories claimed by Bosnian Serbs, terrorizing the civilian population of Sarajevo with snipers and artillery in a more than three-year siege and the Srebrenica massacre. In that town murdered Bosnian Serb forces nearly 8,000 male muslims in the middle of an area that is under the protection of Dutch UN peacekeeping force. Also the guilt of Karadzic to the hostage of UN soldiers to NATO’s bombing campaign to avoid was Wednesday confirmed.

After his resignation in 1995, for example, a former psychiatrist for thirteen years, until in 2008 he was arrested on a bus in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. He had years of experience working as an alternative healer, under a false name and with a long beard as a disguise.

Levenslang voor oorlogsmisdadiger Karadzic

A memorial site near Srebrenica.

Photo: reuters

Division

In the publieksgalerij of the Hague courtroom hearing Wednesday cries. But with the conviction of Karadzic is the reconciliation in Bosnia have not yet reached. The country is divided into a federation of muslims and Croats on the one hand, and a Serbian territory, the Republika Srpska, on the other hand. Also the opinions about war crimes often walk apart along ethnic divisions.

‘Total justice is not possible, but this is compensation for the victims,’ said Murat Tahirovic, president of the Bosnian slachtoffervereniging after the decision to the tv-station N1.

But nationalists in Serbia and the Bosnian Republika Srpska to honour Karadzic is still considered a hero. A week before his conviction in 2016 vernoemden authorities in the Republika Srpska, a student home to him.

The military leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Ratko Mladic, was in 2017 already sentenced to life imprisonment for similar charges of war crimes and genocide. The Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic died in 2006 in his cell in The Hague while his trial is still not over.

Karadzic judgment was broadcast live on the site of the court, but with a delay of thirty minutes. That came after the Bosnian-Croatian general Slobodan Praljak in november 2017 poison held in the Hague courtroom during the pronouncement of his sentence.