'Very Important Day for International Justice': Butcher of Bosnia Guilty of Genocide, War Crimes

In a decision welcomed by human rights groups as a step towards justice, a UN tribunal on Thursday convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes and sentenced him to 40 years in prison.

Out of the 11 charges he faced at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for atrocities in the 1990s during the Bosnian war, the 70-year old, sometimes referred to as the Butcher of Bosnia, escaped on just one.

CNN reports that it “was seen as one of the most important war crimes trials since World War II.”

Summarizing the verdict, which Karadzic will appeal, Reuters reports:

In 1995, Srebrenica was the site of “the worst systematic slaughter of the war: the slayings of 8,000 Muslim men and boys,” the Washington Post reports.

Karadzic’s “intent [was] that every able-bodied Bosnian Muslim male from Srebrenica be killed, which amounts to the intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica as such,” a statement from the tribunal reads.

It adds that Karadzic helped “carry out a campaign of sniping and shelling against the civilian population of Sarajevo, aimed to spread terror among the civilian citizens.”