The deadline for the President: what do Radovan Karadzic, was sentenced to 40 years

Punishment-21 years

Imprisonment for 40 years, which sentenced Karadzic to the Hague Tribunal would actually mean for 70-year-old Serb life sentence. The verdict of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia completed the process of the former leader of Bosnian Serbs, which lasted from 2009. In the course of proceedings were heard 586 prosecution witnesses, the evidence of guilt of Karadzic took several million pages.

Karadzic was charged with 11 counts, including genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the laws or customs of war. Only one he was justified: the judges ruled that the forced eviction of hundreds of thousands of Croats and Bosnian Muslims out of the seven Bosnian cities in 1992 is not genocide.

The main accused of the genocide of 8 thousand Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica — the court considered the guilt of Karadzic is proved. Former Bosnian Serb leader was also found guilty of crimes against humanity during the siege of Sarajevo in 1992-1996, when the shelling of the city killed thousands of civilians. The court found Karadzic guilty and that he was taken hostage 284 UN peacekeepers and used them as human shields to prevent airstrikes by NATO forces on Serb positions.

Reuters notes that Karadzic was convicted the highest-ranking representative government in Europe since the Nuremberg trials. Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who had also appeared before the Tribunal in the Hague, died in 2006, without waiting for the verdict.

Karadzic himself has not admitted his guilt and was trying to justify himself. “It is easy to verify that in that situation I, as President, could do nothing more than was done, and my constant struggle for the preservation of peace, prevention of war and the suffering of all people regardless of religious affiliation deserves respect, not prosecution,” said Karadzic on the eve of the verdict in an interview with the online edition of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

The leader of the Bosnian Serbs

Karadzic’s political career, at that time a practicing psychiatrist, began in the late 1980-ies, when it became clear that the federated Yugoslavia falling apart. In Bosnia and Herzegovina there were three large communities — Serbs, Croats and Muslims-Bosniaks. In 1989, karadžić became one of the founders of the Serbian democratic party (SDS), which positioned itself as the defender of interests of the Serbian people of Bosnia and advocated the creation of a greater Serbia — the Union of all the regions of Yugoslavia with Serbian population in one state.

In the fall of 1991 the SDS began to form on the whole territory of Bosnia “Serb Autonomous regions”. After the Declaration of independence of Bosnia from Yugoslavia in October 1991 in Banja Luka was formed by the Serbian Parliament, which was held in the Serbian communities of Bosnia a referendum in which 98% of voters voted to remain part of Yugoslavia. Shortly after the referendum on the Serbian land of Bosnia, the Republic was proclaimed Serbian and the Serbian nationalist leader of the party Karadzic was its President. The Republic enjoyed political support of the President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic.

The Bosnian authorities in turn held a referendum on independence and formed a government headed by Alija Izetbegovic to recognize the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, and the international community. In the country civil war began.

The army of Republika Srpska immediately to get an advantage over an opponent: in order got almost all the weapons of the Yugoslav army, which by may 1992 left Bosnian territory. By the Bosnians to arm themselves was difficult: on the supply of arms to the countries of the former Yugoslavia since 1991 operated an international embargo. On the side of Republika Srpska fought many Yugoslav commanders, one of whom, General Ratko mladić became the commander of the army (Supreme commander as President was Karadzic).

War crimes

Already by the winter of 1992 the Serbs controlled about 70% of the territory of Bosnia. All warring parties in the conflict have practiced ethnic cleansing and murder of civilians. The special brutality of war in Bosnia led to the fact that already in 1993, was established in the Hague international criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, whose tasks include the investigation of crimes committed during the conflict of war crimes.

The main episode, which is subsequently impute the guilt of Karadzic in the Hague Tribunal, was the so-called massacre in Srebrenica. The town of Srebrenica, the majority of residents were Muslims, in 1993 was declared a UN “safe area” free from armed hostilities. Despite this, the Bosnian Serb army commanded by Ratko Mladic besieged Srebrenica in 1993. In July 1995, Serb troops occupied the city, threatening to destroy was there a contingent of Dutch peacekeepers in the event of intervention by NATO aircraft.

For the evacuation of civilians was formed two columns: one was women and children, the other boys and men from ten to 65. On the evening of 11 July 1995 the column of male refugees came from Srebrenica, and a few hours later was attacked by members of the army of Republika Srpska, commanded by Mladic. The number of killed amounted to about 8 thousand people. The verdict Of judge o-gon Kwon said that the order for the massacre of the male population of Srebrenica gave Karadzic.

Another war crime Karadzic was the siege of the Bosnian capital — Sarajevo. Bosnian Serb forces besieged the city for 44 months — from the beginning of the war. The Serbian army has chosen the tactic of constant artillery and mortar shelling of the city, the victims of which for the years of the siege were at least 4 thousand people. The international community’s attention was particularly drawn to two of the shelling of the city of markala market in February 1994 and August 1995. Victims of direct hits of shells in the crowd in the first case, it became 68 people, the second is 43. During sentencing, the judge stated that the loss of civilian Croats and Bosnian Muslims during the siege of Sarajevo could not have occurred without the knowledge of Karadzic.

The events in Srebrenica and Markala last straw for watching the Western countries. In late August 1995, NATO forces, together with UN peacekeeping forces began the operation “Deliberate force” (Deliberate Force) — a series of bombing Bosnian Serb positions. The NATO intervention was a decisive factor in the war — military superiority of the Bosnian Serbs has been eliminated, their representatives were compelled to join peace talks in December 1995, resulted in the signing of the Dayton accords, which recognized the secession of Bosnia from Yugoslavia.


The charges against Karadzic were nominated by the International criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 1995. From this time he ceased to represent the Republic of Srpska in the negotiations he did Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. In July 1996, he was issued an international warrant for the arrest of Karadzic. A few days later, Karadzic resigned as President and went into hiding. Despite the fact that for assistance in his capture was announced reward of $5 million, to find it was only in the summer of 2008.

All these years, Karadzic lived in Belgrade under the name Dragan Dabic. Under an assumed name and with an altered appearance, having grown a dense beard, Karadzic was practicing alternative medicine and has even got its own website, where he offered assistance in the treatment of sexual dysfunctions through a “human energy quantum”. As an expert in alternative medicine at Karadzic was the experience of playing in front of an audience of several hundred people, he often traveled abroad.

In the end, to calculate Karadzic managed by anonymous call. In the Serbian intelligence was called by a man who told me about the doctor, whose voice reminds him of the voice of Karadzic. Intelligence officials have established surveillance of suspicious doctor, and July 18, detained him on the city bus, then he was extradited to the Hague.

Denial of guilt

Karadzic did not enter a plea to war crimes committed during the conflict in Bosnia, the victims of which eventually became about 100 thousand people.

Responding in an interview with Balkan Investigative Reporting Network on the question of how does he hope that will be justified, Karadzic stressed that “it’s not in hope, but in the law and justice”. Karadzic noted that he did not agree with the fact that crimes were committed by the police or the army. According to him, most of the specific crimes were committed by soldiers or police at their discretion, and direct perpetrators often hide their criminal actions from command. While Karadzic condemned the events in Srebrenica, saying that “those who did this are enemies of Serbs”.

At the international level, the Srebrenica genocide is still not officially recognized. In the twentieth anniversary of the massacre, in July 2015, the United Kingdom made a draft of the UN resolution, but the document was blocked by Russia.

Loud following the decision of the international Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is expected in 2017, the court will have to pass judgement on a colleague Karadzic, General Mladic, arrested in 2011. Mladic guilty himself does not recognize.