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UN judges reinstate genocide charges against Karadzic

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Thursday unanimously reversed [ICTY press release] the acquittal of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case summary, PDF; JURIST news archive] for a genocide charge in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) during the Bosnian War [JURIST news archive]. The decision reversed Karadzic's acquittal [JURIST report] last year on one of the charges he faces, but this does not amount to a conviction. Presiding Judge Theodor Meron stated that appeals judges believe [AP report] that prosecution evidence from Karadzic's trial "could indicate that Karadzic possessed genocidal intent" during a campaign in 1992 aimed at driving Muslims and Croats out of towns and villages that Serbs claimed as their territory. The Appeals Chamber has remanded the matter to the Trial Chamber for further action consistent with the judgment.

Karadzic has been accused, among other things, of participating in the planning of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], which resulted in the death of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys. In October Karadzic opened his defense [JURIST report] in the ICTY by denying all charges against him. Earlier, in August, the ICTY denied Karadzic's request for a new trial after he argued that the prosecution had failed to disclose [JURIST reports] crucial information until after trial. The court reasoned that the delay in disclosing evidence had not infringed on Karadzic's right to a fair trial. In early June, the judges from the ICTY went on a five-day visit [JURIST report] to locations relevant to the indictment of Karadzic. This visit came just months after the ICTY sentenced [JURIST report] former president of the municipality of Sokolac, BiH, Milan Tupajic to two months in prison for refusing to testify against Karadzic. In February 2012, former Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army Ratko Mladic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] accused [JURIST report] the ICTY of being biased.

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