Opinion: Radovan Karadzic’s Verdict

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Opinion: Radovan Karadzic's Verdict

Originally appeared at Fsksrb translated by Joco Mijanic | Јоцо Мијанић exclusively for SouthFront

On the 24th of March 2016 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) condemned the former president of the Republic of Srpska (Serbian Cyrillic: Република Српска; Serbian Latin: Republika Srpska) Mr Radovan Karadzic (Serbian Cyrillic: Радован Карађић; Serbian Latin: Radovan Karađzić). The ICTY found Mr Radovan Karadzic  not guilty of the count one – ”Genocide” in different regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina –  and guilty for the remaining ten counts – the Srebrenica “Genocide” and persecution, extermination,  deportation, of civilians, spreading of terror, mass killings and taking civilians as hostages.

25th of July 1995 the ICTY wrote an indictment regarding Mr Radovan’s case which made him the first person to be prosecuted by this court. This first indictment was rewritten many times because the first version served only as propaganda. In July 2008 Mr Radovan was arrested and the trial started on 26th of October 2009 and was completed on 7th of October 2014. During these five years 497 court session were held. The prosecution questioned 337 witnesses and the defence 248 witnesses.

There were no doubts that the Councile will find Mr Radovan ‘guilty’. Two members of the Councile – whose countries are part of the NATO and which waged war openly against Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina – were assigned to the Mr Radovan’s case. Involvement of these ‘judges’ in the case was not an accident. This was a demonstration that the justice and the true meaning of law will not see the day light at all throughtout the entire process. The members of the Councile should have protected Mr Radovan against any legal irreverence but they sided with the prosecution which has been denying Mr Radovan to examine all the documents. When it comes to the International Law and to the rules of the ICTY any defentant must have an insite in all the documents which will be included in the process before it starts. This very ‘court’ has been keeping the documents (which proved as crucial in the entire process) away from Mr Radovan the whole time. In January and in February the defendant sent his 108th request demanding the controvesial documents – which the prosecution did not send him at all. Meanwhile the court stated that ‘this would not have any impact on the process itsels’. Furthermore the judges also stated that they ‘will not accept any request of this kind again’ from Mr Radovan.

The prosecution humiliated Mr Radovan even more when they sent him the controversial documents just the day before the verdict on 23th of March – more than 200 pages which justified legally the defendant!

The wish for humiliation comes from the prosecution where it is obvious that they have not shown any realiable proof to condemd Mr Radovan as ‘guilty’. Regardless the fact that the judges kept ‘counting’ over and over again the number of war crimes commited in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the civil war they were not able to find any link which would led towards Mr Radovan involvement. Once again the ICTY finds the Serbs ‘guilty’ due to joint criminal enterprise. The court has been using this ‘joint criminal enterprise’ because ti enables them to prosecute anyone who does not have any connection to the war or the hideous crimes which were commited even though in the court’s Statute there’s no such thing as ‘joint criminal enterprise’ at all!

The prosecution demanded that Mr Radovan spends his life in prison (life sentence) but the court gave him 40 years. On first site this looks as a quite smaller sentence regarding the court’s cruelty towards the defendant. In reality in the opposite. ”40 years” in different countries stand as a round-the-clock period (the period which will continue to last exactly 40 years) and ”life sentence” also could represent something else in different countries. In some countries it is a period of 20/25 years where the defendent can request to be set free – when the two thirds of the sentence spends in jail. By sentencing the defendant, Mr Radovan Karadzic who is 70-year-old now, on 40 years in jail the judges wanted to point out the fact that there is no chance where he could be set free in the future.

At the moment the court receives appeals from both sides. The prosecution has been peparing its appeal long before the sentence. This means that some knew that the court will find Mr Radovan ‘guilty’. The prosecutors of the ICTY will demand a life sentence while Mr Radovan will pleade ‘not guilty’ and request from the court to set him free of charges. The struggle will continue where the prosecutors will keep up the pressure and where Mr Radovan will try to prove once again that he is not guilty for the act of ‘genocide’ on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For now the official version of Mr Radovan’s sentence has not been published yet. Mr Peter Robinson, a legal adviser of Mr Radovan, stated that this document contains over 2500 pages. To make an appeal it will takes couple of months and to study the document it will take couple of weeks.

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