Monday 22 January 2018

Radovan Karadzic acquitted of one genocide charge

THE Yugoslav war crimes tribunal at The Hague has acquitted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of one of two genocide charges, at the halfway stage of his long-running trial.

Judges however refused to dismiss ten other charges, which include one further charge of genocide, and others of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Judges said prosecutors did not present enough evidence to support the charge that expulsion policy carried out by Serb forces of Muslims and Croats from Bosnian towns early in the country's 1992-95 war amounted to genocide.

It is regarded as the less serious genocide charge. The remaining one covers Karadzic's alleged involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and the siege of Sarajevo, which claimed 12,000 lives during the city's 44-month seige.

The UN court's rules allow suspects to seek acquittal after prosecutors wrap up their case. Earlier this month Karadzic asked judges to dismiss all 11 counts against him, saying prosecutors had failed to prove them.

The 67-year-old, who has been defending himself, denies the charges and has claimed he did not know what was taking place on the ground.

He was arrested on a bus in Belgrade in July 2008 after 13 years on the run and transferred to The Hague.

He is accused of being the "supreme commander" of an ethnic cleansing campaign of Muslims and Croats in the 1992-95 war.

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