Prosecutor seeks life in prison for “liar” Karadzic

08 October 2014 by Sandra Milic, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) last week demanded a life sentence for former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. He faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during the bloody 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

Radovan Karadzic at his initial appearance before the ICTY in July, 2008
Image caption: 
Radovan Karadzic at his initial appearance before the ICTY in July 2008 (Flickr/ICTY)

In their closing arguments, the prosecutors said the ex-president of the self-declared Bosnian Serb Republic bears responsibility for a vicious campaign of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, which included the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of around 8,000 Muslim men and boys, the 44-month siege of Sarajevo and the establishment of a network of detention camps where non-Serbs were abused and tortured.

“[These] crimes were not aimed at these victims as individuals, but as members of an undesired community. Karadzic’s forcible demographic restructuring of Bosnia was supposed to be accomplished by the destruction of substantial parts of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat communities,” US prosecutor Alan Tieger said. “The proper name for this crime is ‘genocide’,” he added, reiterating his team’s claim that ethnic cleansing in seven municipalities – Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik – reached the scale of genocide during 1992.  

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