The IRMCT in The Hague pronounced a life sentence for Karadžić on March 20, 2019.

Radovan Karadžić - Life Imprisonment

GUILTY

Radovan Karadžić was the president and supreme commander of the armed forces of Republika Srpska. (Case number: IT-95-5/18)

The IRMCT in The Hague pronounced a life sentence for Karadžić on March 20, 2019.

During the war, Radovan Karadžić was the president and supreme commander of the armed forces of Republika Srpska. The Hague Tribunal convicted Karadžić of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws or customs of war committed by Serbian forces during the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995. Among other things, Karadžić was convicted of genocide in Srebrenica, and for persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts (forcible transfer), terrorizing, unlawful attacks on civilians, and taking hostages.

Regarding Srebrenica, the Trial Chamber found that Karadžić participated in a joint criminal enterprise with the aim of eliminating Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica in July 1995 through the forcible transfer of Muslim women, children, and elderly, and the killing of able-bodied Muslim men and boys. The Trial Chamber also held Karadžić responsible as a superior for certain murders committed by his subordinates.

Considering Karadžić's position as the president of Republika Srpska and the supreme commander of its armed forces, the Trial Chamber concluded that he was “the only person in Republika Srpska with the power to intervene to prevent the Bosnian Muslim men from being killed.”

Following the court's verdict and the closure of the ICTY, the appellate proceedings in the Karadžić case were conducted before the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT). In March 2019, the Appeals Chamber of the IRMCT pronounced the Second Instance Verdict.

The Appeals Chamber affirmed Karadžić's convictions for genocide in Srebrenica, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws or customs of war, but found the 40-year prison sentence imposed by the Trial Chamber to be inadequate. The Appeals Chamber believed such a sentence underestimated the immense gravity of Karadžić's responsibility and his comprehensive role in the unprecedented crimes committed throughout the Bosnian War, known for their scale and systematic cruelty. Consequently, Karadžić was sentenced to life imprisonment. Radovan Karadžić is serving his life sentence in the United Kingdom.

"In 1993, the world decided that the victims in the former Yugoslavia deserved justice. For two decades, these victims have entrusted us to realize that justice. Thousands of victims have come here to tell their stories and bravely face their tormentors. Today, with this convicting verdict, that trust has been justified. Justice has been served. The truth established by this verdict will be a bulwark against the ongoing attempts to deny the suffering of thousands and the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.

Such moments should also remind us that today, in countless conflicts around the world, millions of victims are waiting for their justice. This verdict shows that it is possible to achieve justice."

A significant number of victims in the former Yugoslavia are still waiting for justice. And too many families still do not know the fate of their loved ones. I call on national authorities and the international community to continue to support justice for war crimes and the search for the missing at the national level."

Serge Brammertz after the verdict was pronounced.

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