Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic sentenced to 40-year imprisonment
The ruling was pronounced by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) as Karadzic was found guilty of 10 out 11 charges related to the Bosnian war (1992-95).
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on 24 March 2016 sentenced former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to 40-year imprisonment for his involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.
The ruling was pronounced by the Presiding Judge of the Trial Chamber III of the Tribunal O-Gon Kwon of South Korea.
As per the ruling, Karadzic was found guilty of 10 out 11 charges related to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes charges. However, he was acquitted of a second count of genocide in Bosnian towns.
So far, Karadzic is the most senior political figure to be convicted by the ICTY for involvement in the Bosnia’s 1992-95 war that left 100000 people dead.
Apart from Radovan Karadzic, late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Ratko Mladic, the General who commanded Bosnian Serb forces, were tried by the Tribunal so far.
While Milosevic died in custody in 2006 before a verdict was reached, Mladic is in a UN cell awaiting judgment.
• In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a significant split developed on the issue of whether to stay with the Yugoslav federation (overwhelmingly favored among Serbs) or seek independence (overwhelmingly favored among Bosniaks and Croats) that culminated in the Bosnian war (1992-95).
• During the course of war, Serbs, Bosniaks (mostly Muslims) and Croats fought among themselves that led to Europe’s worst war scenario since the World War II.
• Among the perpetrators of these heinous crimes on humanity, Radovan Karadzic is considered as one of the key personnel. He is the former President of Republika Srpska (RS).
Opponents of the ICTY say its prosecutors have disproportionately targeted Serbs as 94 of 161 suspects charged were from the Serbian side, while 29 were Croat and 9 Bosnian Muslim.
They further argue that it is a pro-Western instrument which is evident from the fact that the Tribunal failed to bring charges against two other leaders of that era who have since died -- Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic.
• The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), situated in The Hague, is a United Nations court of law dealing with war crimes that took place during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990’s.
• In May 1993, The Tribunal was established in May 1993 by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
• It was the first war crimes court created by the UN and the first international war crimes tribunal since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals.
• By bringing perpetrators to trial, the ICTY aims to deter future crimes and render justice to thousands of victims and their families, thus contributing to a lasting peace in the former Yugoslavia.
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