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Radovan Karadzic verdict: Bosnian Serb warlord given life sentence

Karadzic, 73, had his 40 year prison term increased at The Hague today after a judge ruled his 2016 sentence was too lenient.

A warlord convicted of genocide has today been sentenced to life in prison after UN judges ruled his 40 year jail term was too lenient. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic had appealed against his 2016 conviction, but his call for a retrial was thrown out at a hearing at The Hague.

Karadzic, 73, was convicted for the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces. He was also found guilty of leading a campaign of ethnic cleansing that drove Croats and Muslims out of Serb-claimed areas of Bosnia.

Today the verdicts against the strongman - who evaded justice for a decade by pretending to be a new age healer - were upheld by five judges, and his sentence increased.

There were cheers in the room as the verdict was announced. Karadzic now has no further means of appeal.

His was one of the highest profile trials stemming from the series of wars in the 1990s which saw the bloody collapse of the former Yugoslavia and death of at least 100,000 Bosnians.

The ruling, which is final and cannot be challenged on appeal, will have huge resonance in the former Yugoslavia, especially in Bosnia, where ethnic communities remain divided and Karadzic is still seen as a hero by many Bosnian Serbs.

In hiding for nearly a decade, disguising himself as a new age healer named Dragan Dabic, Karadzic was arrested and handed over to the court in July 2008.

​​In 2017 'Butcher of Bosnia' Ratko Mladic - Karadzic's war commander - was also found guilty of genocide. Ex-Bosnian Serb general Mladic, 74, was found guilty of ordering the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, in modern day Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mladic was also charged with crimes against humanity over the siege of Sarajevo, during which 11,000 civilians died from shelling and sniper fire.

#karadzic #guilty #warcriminal

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