The former Serb leader was charged with the mass murder of Muslims after the fall of Srebrenica
On Thursday, Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of committing genocide and nine other war crimes. The genocide was carried out by the former Bosnian Serb leader during an almost two-year long siege of Sarajevo in the 90s.
Thousands of Muslim boys and men died in 1995 during the siege of Srebrenica which is still regarded as the worst war crime in Europe after the end of World War II. Seventy year old Karadzic has been sentenced to forty years in prison.
The sentence was handed down after a 5 year trial before a UN war crimes tribunal. The case was being regarded as a very important war crime trial.
Radovan Karadzic was arrested in 2008 after dodging the authorities for more than 10 year. He is the senior most Serb political personality who had been tried and convicted over the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.
The presiding judge stated that Karadzic bore the responsibility for attacking innocent civilians, supervising the siege of Sarajevo, and carrying out indiscriminate murder of Muslims during the war. He was acquitted of another charge of allegedly carrying out mass murders in Bosnian areas.
The presiding judge further stated that Karadzic had sniped on and shelled civilians in order to further his political agenda. He was in a position to prevent the slaughter of around 8,000 Muslims who were captured by his troops when Srebrenica fell. Karadzic personally intended every Bosnian Muslim man to be murdered in cold blood.
Radovan Karadzic was also accused of deportation, persecution, murder, extermination, taking hostages and ethnic cleansing.
The court revealed that civilians in Sarajevo were shot when they were carrying out their daily chores. Even children were not spared.
They would be sniped at while playing or simply walking home from their schools. The former Serb leader was also part of a plot to kidnap UN staff in order to stop western powers and NATO from carrying out airstrikes.
The courtroom in The Hague was filled with family members of murdered victims. A visibly nervous Karadzic did not try to meet their gaze. His lawyer has vowed to file an appeal.
A psychologist by training, and a poet, Radovan Karadzic maintained till the end of the proceedings that he was innocent. The only thing he did was to protect the Serbs.