Global Independent Analytics

'Butcher of Bosnia' Radovan Karadzic to face genocide verdict

Two decades after the end of the Bosnian war, Radovan Karadzic is finally set to face justice.

CNN’s Tiffany Ap reports: On Thursday, the former leader of the breakaway Serb Republic in Bosnia, will be handed down a verdict from the International Criminal Tribunal for his role in the three-year conflict that's estimated to have taken over 100,000 lives.

For his war crimes including Srebrenica massacre and crimes against humanity he earned a title ‘Butcher of Bosnia’. Between 1992 and 1995, during his presidential tenure, he has ordered his troops to murder hundreds of thousands of Croats and Muslims in the course of ‘ethnic cleansing’.

“It's alleged he masterminded the notorious siege of Sarajevo in which more than 11,000 people died, and the Srebrenica massacre of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys, the worst mass killing seen in Europe since World War II,” continues Ap.

If found guilty, the former politician will face a maximum life sentence in prison. Karadzic is the highest-ranking person to face the UN tribunal in The Hague and his road to the Court has been a long one. He has been hiding since 1996 and for 12 years he remained undiscovered. When he was found, none could have recognized the ex-President in a man with a long white beard, long hair and spectacles.

As reported by Serb security officials, he has been hiding in plain sight, working as a ‘healer’ in a clinic in Belgrade under a fake identity.

“He was extradited to the Hague to face charges where he entered a not guilty plea. He initially tried to represent himself which led to delays in his trial but eventually had a lawyer imposed on him,” assumes Ap. It took more than a year to award a sentence: the trial took 400 days and included evidence from 586 witnesses.

Ap concludes: “Karadzic's former army chief Ratko Mladic, who was arrested in 2012, is also facing charges of genocide and war crimes committed during the conflict. A judgment is expected in 2017.”

Update UTC 15:02: BBC reports: Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has been convicted of genocide and war crimes over the 1992-95 war, and sentenced to 40 years in jail.

UN judges in The Hague found him guilty of 10 of 11 charges, including genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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