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General Radislav Krstic Found Guilty of Genocide

Aired August 2, 2001 - 10:16   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: We took you live to the Hague, the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal, where Radislav Krstic was found guilty of genocide for his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Srebrenica, you might remember during the Bosnian war, was designated a U.N. safe haven. And it was where it was alleged before this guilty verdict today that thousands of Muslims were killed.

Let's check in with our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. She is in London -- Christiane.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Donna, it took an hour and a half for the presiding judge to lay out the conclusions after a 95 day trial. Has come down with the verdict that General Radislav Krstic is guilty of the crime of genocide for the role he played in the massacre of 7,000 to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in July of 1995.

This is history for this tribunal. It has not yet convicted anyone, found anyone guilty of the crime of genocide. Although others have been charged, they have been acquitted.

General Radislav Krstic becomes not only the first person convicted of genocide by this tribunal, but the first person convicted of genocide for crimes in Europe since the Nuremberg Tribunal after WWII more than 50 years ago.

In harrowing detail, and often sickening detail, the judge laid out step by step over a period of seven days the summary executions, the mass killings, the separation of men and boys from the women, the children and the elderly, and he basically laid out a case now for bringing the charge and the verdict of genocide because, as he said, Europe has not got a huge amount of case history with genocide, the first time being in that case after WWII.

So this was an extremely, as you said, scrupulously examined case for the judges. They examined every piece of evidence, all the witness testimony, the defense arguments, the prosecution arguments, and he went through methodically how first he concluded, and the other panel, the other members of the panel, that not only -- that first genocide had been committed in Bosnia and then he spent another half an hour explaining how they concluded that Radislav Krstic was personally and individually responsible and guilty of that crime -- Donna. KELLEY: And he was sentenced to 46 years, Christiane, and I know that they have unearthed hundreds of bodies so far. But does that process continue at this point, because, as you said, they think between 7,000 and 8,000 men and boys may have been killed?

AMANPOUR: Yes, indeed. He was sentenced to 46 years. That's less than the maximum he could have got, which is life imprisonment. They are still conducting exhumations and investigations. This is going to be a long, long process and there are still thousands of bodies unaccounted for. They have exhumed several thousand, but there are still many more thousands unaccounted for.

And furthermore, the judge in his summing up said that there are individuals whose guilt and whose responsibility is even greater than that of General Krstic, who so far is the most senior Bosnian Serb to have been brought to trial. And those presumably he's referring to, he mentioned during his summing up, General Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb army commander, the notorious military man who is still a fugitive and twice indicted by this tribunal. And also Radovan Karadzic, who was the political leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the war and is also still at large.

KELLEY: Our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, thank you very much.

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