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UK: Karadzic judgement 'important' for global justice

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says verdict confirms Karadzic’s convictions for genocide in Srebrenica

Ahmet Gürhan Kartal   | 20.03.2019
UK: Karadzic judgement 'important' for global justice

LONDON  

Today’s ruling giving former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic life in prison for genocide and war crimes is “an important result for international justice,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Wednesday.

Hunt’s comments came on the day a UN tribunal increased war criminal Karadzic’s previous sentence of 40 years to life in prison.

“This judgment is an important result for international justice, confirming Karadzic’s convictions for genocide in Srebrenica and increasing his sentence to life in prison,” Hunt said.

“It sends a powerful message that those who carry out atrocities will be held accountable for their actions and will be sentenced accordingly,” he added.

Hunt said “the thousands of victims and their relatives are foremost in our thoughts.”

“Although this outcome will not erase their pain and suffering, we hope that it will provide some comfort to them,” he said.

Britain’s top diplomat said the U.K. remains “committed to achieving justice for victims,” and they will “continue to support the work of the tribunal and other organizations seeking justice, supporting survivors, and aiming to find and identify those still missing as a result of conflict in the region.”

A UN tribunal in The Hague on Wednesday sentenced Karadzic to life in prison for genocide, crimes against humanity, and violating the laws and customs of war.

In 2016 Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity relating to the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. He then filed an appeal seeking an acquittal or retrial.

Following the closure of the former Yugoslav tribunal in 2017, the Council of Appeal of the International Criminal Courts Mechanism took over the ongoing cases.

The council on Wednesday announced its decision on Karadzic's appeal, which had been going on for some three years.

The council sentenced Karadzic, 73, for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995, as well as the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The U.K.’s commitments to continue to seek justice are in line with the Joint Declarations on War Crimes and Missing Persons led by the UK and signed by Prime Ministers at the London Western Balkans Summit 2018,” a British Foreign Office statement said.

Karadzic was the president of the self-styled Bosnian Serb Republic and supreme commander of its armed forces between 1992 and 1995, when around 100,000 Bosnians died as the former Yugoslavia descended into ethnic bloodshed.

He was charged with 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica genocide, Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

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