News 19 Oct 12

Brammertz: ICTY Made Mistake in Karadzic's Case

The ICTY Chief Prosecutor says that the ICTY judges made a mistake when they acquitted the former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, of the charge of genocide in seven Bosnian municipalities.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo

During his latest visit to Sarajevo, Serge Brammertz, the Chief Prosecutor for the Hague Tribunal, ICTY, told the Bosnian media that the ICTY judges had failed to take into consideration Karadzic’s “genocidal” statements. 

“I feel that the Trial Chamber failed to grant the necessary weight to the evidence of Karadzic’s genocidal statements. I believe that those statements, when viewed appropriately, can prove that he had a genocidal intent”, Brammertz told Dani, a Sarajevo based weekly magazine.

Brammertz added that the prosecution presented – during their two year evidence hearing – multiple pieces of evidence that Karadzic, and other Bosnian Serb leaders, had threatened the Bosniaks with annihilation.

In June this year Karadzic attempted to have all 11 charges against him dismissed. 

The Hague Tribunal’s Trial Chamber ruled that the prosecution had presented sufficient evidence for ten out of the 11 counts in the indictment, but it acquitted Karadzic of charges of genocide in seven municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992.

It ruled that the evidence presented did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Bosnian Serbs wanted to “destroy part or in whole other ethnic groups”.

 The Hague prosecution is appealing the decision, claiming that the Trial Chamber was incorrect in its application of legal standards and practices. 

The prosecution argues that the murders of Bosniaks and Croats in Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik in 1992 reached the level that shows that a significant part of a group was destined for destruction.  

Karadzic, the former president of Republika Srpska and the supreme commander of its army, denies charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

His trial started in October 2009, and the prosecution finished presenting its evidence last month. 

The defence started presenting its evidence this week and the trial is expected to continue on Monday, October 22.

 

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Background

Karadzic: War Criminal or Poet?

To the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the arrest of Radovan Karadzic, indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, was a true sensation, and one to be exploited day after day.  

Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed

In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.

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