War Crimes Tribunal Reinstates Genocide Charge Against Karadzic

Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 02:28 PM

By Joel Himelfarb

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A United Nations war-crimes tribunal has reinstated a genocide charge against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, bringing to 11 the number of war-crimes counts he faces stemming from a 1990s conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

Karadzic is on trial before the U.N. Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague over his alleged role in a campaign of mistreating and killing non-Serbs after Bosnia-Herzegovina became an independent state in 1992. Karadzic, a close ally of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, responded to Bosnian independence by declaring creation of an independent Serbian state in Bosnia with its capital in Pale — a suburb of the capital Sarajevo.

The reinstated charge had originally been brought against Karadzic over a campaign to force hundreds of thousands of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Croats out of large swaths of Bosnia at the start of the war in 1992.

In June 2012, a lower court dismissed the charge for lack of evidence. But appellate judges ruled Thursday that prosecutors had presented evidence that Karadzic "possessed genocidal intent" against Muslims and Croats and reinstated the charge, the BBC reported.

Before Thursday, Karadzic had been on trial on 10 counts of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. They include allegations that he orchestrated the shelling of Sarajevo and the use of 284 U.N. peacekeepers as human shields.

The tribunal’s decision comes as thousands of people gathered in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica for the burial of more 400 newly identified victims of a July 1995 massacre there. At least 7,500 Bosniaks, mostly men and boys, were killed during a five-day period there.
Karadzic, whose war-crimes trial began in 2009, is charged with one count of genocide in connection with the Srebrenica massacre — the worst known atrocity in Europe since the end of World War II.

He was captured in 2008 after 13 years as a fugitive.


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