The Hague: UN war crimes judges on Thursday found former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of genocide and sentenced him to 40 years in jail over the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.
The court said Karadzic, the most high-profile figure convicted over the wars that tore Yugoslavia apart in the 1990s, bore criminal responsibility for murder and persecution in the Bosnian conflict.
Karadzic, sporting his familiar bouffant hairstyle, will face judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at 1 pm GMT (6.30 pm IST) for the historic ruling.
Now 70, the one-time psychiatrist will be the highest-profile politician from the Balkan wars to face judgement, after former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic died in his prison cell in The Hague while on trial in 2006.
Karadzic, as president of the breakaway Republika Srpska, is accused of taking part in a joint criminal scheme to "permanently remove Muslim and Bosnian Croat inhabitants... from areas claimed as Bosnian Serb territory".
Here are the 11 charges contained in a 69-page indictment at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia:
Between March 31 and December 1992, Karadzic allegedly with others "planned, instigated, ordered and/or aided and abetted genocide" of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croats to permanently remove them from territory claimed by the Bosnian Serbs across various municipalities.
In July 1995, he began to implement a plan with others "to eliminate the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica by killing the men and boys and forcibly removing the women, young children." Almost 8,000 men and boys were killed.
Karadzic allegedly instigated, aided and abetted the persecution of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in 19 towns and villages by allowing forcible deportations, harassment, torture, rape and other acts of sexual violence. The persecution allegedly included forced labour in detention camps and the use of human shields by Serb and Bosnian Serb forces.
Prosecutors say Karadzic knew "extermination" was "a possible consequence" of the campaign to get rid of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats "and willingly took that risk." This included the sniping and shelling during the 44-month siege of Sarajevo and the deaths in Srebrenica.
Murder (as a crime against humanity)
Karadzic was allegedly behind a joint criminal enterprise "to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory" through acts of murder including in Sarajevo where some 10,000 people were killed, Srebrenica and other municipalities.
Murder (as a war crime)
Karadzic stands accused of aiding "organised and opportunistic killings" in direct violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention governing the rules of war.
Karadzic allegedly knew that between March 1992 and November 1995, Serb forces and Bosnian Serbs "forcibly displaced Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from areas within the municipalities and within Srebrenica in which they were lawfully present."
Karadzic along with others targeted Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats through measures such as "arbitrary arrest and detention, harassment, torture, rape and other acts of sexual violence, killing, and destruction of houses and cultural monuments" which forced them to "flee in fear" from their homes.
Karadzic is accused from April 1992 to November 1995 with others of using the Sarajevo Forces to "spread terror" in the city through a military strategy of "sniping and shelling to kill, maim, wound and terrorise the civilian inhabitants."
The Sarajevo siege included indiscriminate and excessive attacks "which were disproportionate in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated."
Taking of hostages
Between 26 May 1995 and 19 June 1995, Bosnian Serb Forces detained over 200 UN peacekeepers and military observers in various towns, including Pale, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, and Gorade, with Karadzic accused of abetting the kidnappings to force NATO not to carry out air strikes against Bosnian Serb military targets.
First Published On : Mar 26, 2016 12:32 IST