Radovan Karadzic: Former Bosnian Serb leader to be moved to UK prison to serve sentence for Srebrenica genocide

Foreign secretary says UK supported ‘30-year pursuit for justice’ for Karadzic’s ‘heinous crimes’

Joanna Taylor
Wednesday 12 May 2021 22:31
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<p>Radovan Karadzic in The Hague in 2009</p>

Radovan Karadzic in The Hague in 2009

The British government has announced that Radovan Karadzic, the former president of Republika Srpska who was convicted of carrying out genocide and war crimes during the Bosnian War, will serve the remainder of his prison sentence in the UK.

The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said in a statement that Britain has “supported the 30-year pursuit of justice” for Karadzic’s “heinous crimes”.

“Radovan Karadzic is one of the few people to have been found guilty of genocide. He was responsible for the massacre of men, women and children at the Srebrenica genocide and helped prosecute the siege of Sarajevo with its remorseless attacks on civilians,” he said.

“We should take pride in the fact that, from UK support to secure his arrest, to the prison cell he now faces, Britain has supported the 30-year pursuit of justice for these heinous crimes.”

Karadzic, now aged 75, was president of Republika Srpska – one of the two entities of Bosnia-Herzegovina – between 1992 and 1996.

He became president a month after the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from the former Yugoslavia, following a referendum that was boycotted by most Bosnian Serbs.

He went into hiding in 1996, after the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) indicted him for war crimes, including genocide during the Bosnian War.

More than 70,000 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats are thought to have been killed, and others subjected to torture and rape as instruments of terror, during Karadzic’s presidency. He is also held responsible for the 44-day siege of Sarajevo, which resulted in the deaths of more than 10,000 people.

Karadzic was arrested in 2008 and brought before Belgrade’s War Crimes Court, before being extradited to the Netherlands and placed in ICTY custody.

He was charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and was found guilty of 10 of them in 2016. He was sentenced to 40 years in jail.

In 2019, Karadzic’s sentence was increased to life imprisonment after a failed appeal attempt in The Hague.

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