Karadzic denies link to Bosnian war atrocities

Karadzic denies link to Bosnian war atrocities

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday insisted upon his innocence during closing remarks at his genocide trial at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Karadzic, who is charged [ICTY case summary, PDF] with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws of war, continues to claim that he was unaware of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre [JURIST news archive] where more than 7,000 Muslims were killed by Serb forces, and asserts [AP report] that the prosecutors had no evidence linking him to the crimes charged. Disputing the closing remarks made by prosecutors on Monday, Karadzic stated [Reuters report] that they had chosen to tarnish his personality, calling him a liar and a mobster. These closing statements mark an end to four years of proceedings at The Hague.

Prosecutors delivered closing remarks [JURIST report] at Karadzic’s trial on Monday, calling the former Bosnian Serb political leader a liar for his claims that he was unaware of the massacre and was innocent of any wrongdoing. In January former leader of the Bosnian Serb army Ratko Mladic refused to testify [JURIST report] at the Karadzic trial. Karadzic expected Mladic to testify that in their conversations, they never agreed to commit the crimes of which Karadzic is accused, which would negate his mens rea for multiple charges. Mladic refused to answer questions, stating that testifying in Karadzic’s case could prejudice his own case in the future. In October 2012 Karadzic opened his defense [JURIST report] in the ICTY by denying all charges against him. Earlier in 2012 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 June 2012 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.