Mugshot photos of Radovan Karadžić by the Yugoslav and Bosnian police
Christian Fascist Radovan Karadzic Convicted of War Crimes and Genocide
THE HAGUE (Netherlands)
A United Nations tribunal has convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for leading a campaign of terror against civilians in the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II.
Karadzic, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in lethal ethnic cleansing operations, the siege of Sarajevo and the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995, in proceedings that were likened to the Nuremberg trials of former Nazi leaders.
During his trial, like WWII Catholic and Christian-fascist dictators before him, Karadzic confessed he waged to what he believed was a holy war; a crusade sanctioned by priests, church, Christ and god, a “just and holy” war he declared.
Karadzic was saluted by the Greek Orthodox Church as “one of the most prominent sons of our Lord Jesus Christ working for peace.” The church decorated Karadzic with the nine-hundred-year-old Knights’ Order of the First Rank of Saint Dionysius of Xanthe.
The Ecumenical Christian Patriarch Bartholomew announced that, “the Serbian people have been chosen by God to protect the western frontiers of Orthodoxy.”
The prosecution presented recorded testimony and transcripts of Karadžić’s political speeches. In one Karadžić is quoted as saying “Sarajevo will be a black cauldron where Muslims will die,” and that “They will disappear, that people will disappear from the face of the earth.” In another Karadžić is quoted as saying that “Europe will be told to go fuck itself and not come back till the job is finished.”
Satko Mujagic, a former prisoner held by Serb forces for more than 200 days, said that Karadzic was responsible for “ethnic cleansing and blood”.
“I’m very glad that this man finally got what he deserved,” he said.
Mujagic said the verdict should also have a broader effect on Bosnia’s Serbs, Muslims, and Croats.
“Honestly, I hope this sentence will mean something for people in Bosnia, because many people deny what has happened – people deny war crimes. I hope this means something for reconciliation in the country,” Mujagic said.
About 100 survivors gathered outside the UN tribunal as judges inside read out verdicts on some of the worst atrocities committed in Europe since World War II.
One banner read: “Srebrenica, we remember the 8,372 victims of genocide.”
Karadzic had long been accused of orchestrating the 1995 slaughter after Serb forces seized the UN’s Srebrenica “safe area” in eastern Bosnia.
Corespondent Emma Hayward, reporting from The Hague, said the pain of some survivors hadn’t gone away, but added that there was a sense of relief among the families and victims after the verdict.
“When we heard about Srebrenica, we heard about the Muslim men and boys who were taken away from their families and systematically killed,” said Hayward.
Some Bosnians outside the tribunal denounced the 40-year sentence saying it was grossly inadequate for the mass crimes committed.
“For me as a victim of genocide, I’m afraid this is some political game,” said Munira Subasic. “But I still believe in this court’s prosecutors, probably they’ll prepare more evidence for the appeals process so we hope to be satisfied at the very end.”
Karadzic was also acquitted on another genocide charge relating to events in 1992, a move that angered some Bosnians.
“Genocide didn’t only happen in Srebrenica but across all of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as persecution, suffering and everything we lived through,” said Zumra Sehumirovic outside the court.
A psychiatrist by vocation, Karadzic emerged as the Bosnian Serb political leader shortly before Yugoslavia began disintegrating in a series of wars in 1991. His military chief, general Ratko Mladic, is still on trial on similar charges.
To Bosnian Muslims and Croats, Karadzic is synonymous with war, death, and destruction.