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Europe

Karadzic to face two genocide charges, not one

Latest update : 2009-02-16

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic will face two charges of genocide - for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre -, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia announced.

AFP - Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic will face two charges of genocide before the UN's Yugoslav war crimes tribunal instead of one originally lodged among 11 total criminal counts, the court said Monday.
  
A pre-trial chamber of judges had approved, in part, the prosecution's motion to amend the indictment against Karadzic, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia said in a statement.
  
"In the amended indictment, Karadzic is charged with two counts of genocide instead of the initial one," it said.
  
"The first count refers to the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1992 and the second to the July 1995 massacre in Srebrenica."
  
Two other counts were removed from the initial charge sheet -- those of complicity to genocide and breaches of the Geneva Convention.
  
Karadzic, 63, was arrested on a Belgrade bus in July 2008, 13 years after he was first indicted by the ICTY.
  
He faces a total of 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, notably for the 44-month siege of Sarajevo that left 10,000 dead and the July 1995 massacre of around 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.
  
"With the amended indictment, Karadzic is charged with criminal conduct in relation to 27 municipalities instead of the initial 41," said the tribunal statement.
  
"The prosecution's motion was not granted with regards to three alleged incidents of killing which it sought to add ... as they were not adequately supported by evidence."
  
Among other things, the prosecution has charged Karadzic with having sought to "permanently remove" Bosnian Muslims and Croats from Serb-claimed territory, and to "eliminate" Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica.
  
He also stands accused of spreading terror among the civilian population of Sarajevo through a sniping and shelling campaign from April 1992 to November 1995, and of taking hostage UN personnel to prevent air strikes against Bosnian Serb military targets.
  
The judges ordered prosecutors to file the new, amended indictment by Wednesday.
  
Karadzic is due to appear before a pre-trial chamber on Friday, where is expected to enter a plea to the new charges.
  
He has previously refused to plead, resulting in an automatic not-guilty plea being entered on his behalf.
  
Genocide is considered the graves of crimes under international law, but also the most difficult to prove because of the requirement to show intent.
  
The ICTY has so far handed down one genocide-related conviction when it found former Bosnian Serb general Radislav Krstic guilty in April 2004 of aiding and abetting genocide.
  
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic had also been accused of genocide before the ICTY, but died in his cell in March 2006 before judgment could be passed.
  

Date created : 2009-02-16

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