Skip to main content

Tribunal reinstates genocide charge against Karadzic

By Jason Hanna, CNN
updated 9:04 PM EDT, Thu July 11, 2013
Radovan Karadzic appears at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in The Hague on July 11.
Radovan Karadzic appears at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in The Hague on July 11.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The reinstated count accuses Radovan Karadzic of trying to remove Muslims from Bosnia
  • He was the leader of the breakaway Serb Republic in Bosnia in the 1990s
  • Karadzic, on trial since 2010, also faces a charge of genocide over the Srebrenica massacre

(CNN) -- Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic once again faces two genocide charges instead of one in his long-running trial over ethnic violence during the 1990s Balkan wars.

Appellate judges at a U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands on Thursday reinstated the second genocide charge, ruling that the tribunal improperly dismissed the count in June 2012.

Karadzic, whose trial began in 2010, also faces nine other charges related to ethnic violence during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

The reinstated charge accuses Karadzic of trying to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Croats from parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. The charge was thrown out last year after the prosecution rested its case, with the tribunal ruling that there wasn't enough evidence for a genocide conviction on that particular allegation.

But the appellate judges Thursday ruled that the evidence of serious abuse against Bosnian Muslims and Croats -- including detaining them in overcrowded, squalid conditions where they were starved and left vulnerable to disease -- could be shown to be genocidal acts.

The judges cited allegations that Karadzic and officials loyal to him decided on a plan to rid Bosnia of Muslims, in part by killing a third of them and converting another third to Orthodox Christianity.

Thursday's decision came exactly 18 years after the notorious 1995 Srebrencia massacre, for which Karadzic faces the other genocide charge.

Nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995. Srebrenica became an emblem for the dissolution of Yugoslavia -- once a multiethnic state of Serbs, Croats, Muslims and others -- into six countries during a bloody and brutal conflict.

On Thursday, more than 400 victims of the massacre were to be reburied at a memorial center in Potocari in Bosnia and Herzegovina, adding to the more than 5,000 victims already buried there, the country's state-run news agency FENA reported.

Victims of the massacre have been buried at the site periodically as officials locate and identify more victims in mass graves.

"Sadness and pain, I have no words. It is so hard," said Fadila Efendic, who was set to bury her son Fejzo at the site Thursday, according to FENA. "This is beyond any human comprehension what they did to us and what we are experiencing."

The 1992-95 Bosnian conflict was the longest of the wars spawned by the breakup of Yugoslavia. Karadzic was removed from power in 1995, when the Dayton Accord that ended the Bosnian war barred anyone accused of war crimes from holding office.

Karadzic was captured in 2008 after more than 13 years of hiding in plain sight in Belgrade. He had adopted an elaborate disguise that included long hair and a full beard, and was practicing alternative medicine in the Serbian capital.

His former military commander, Ratko Mladic, was captured in 2011 and is also on trial for charges including genocide.

Both men would face life in prison if convicted. The court cannot impose the death penalty.

Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic also faced charges connected with the Balkan wars, but he died in 2006 while on trial at The Hague.

CNN's Saskya Vandoorne and Karen Smith contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex, agents caught up with a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back terror to Europe.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
South Africa Music Legends stamps
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT