BELGRADE – Serbia disagrees with the sentence handed down to former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and believes the tribunal needs to be closed as soon as possible, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Friday.
“We in Serbia reacted sharply to Karadzic’s sentencing because they want to end the entire process and place a period at the end. But we would like that it is proven who in particular is guilty. The person who is a war criminal must take responsibility, of course, but a collective type of guilt…is completely unacceptable for us and we’re against war crimes like in Srebrenica being so easily defined as genocide, and that the Republic of Serbia was created from genocide,” Dacic said during a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.
Lavrov echoed Dacic’s opinion in a similar statement at the same press conference, saying the tribunal is “politicized and biased.”
“We have noticed considerable politicization and bias in the work of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. We are in favor of it being closed soon,” Lavrov said, adding that “some mechanisms of the tribunal need to remain, but should be wound down as soon as possible.”
The ICTY recently convicted Karadzic on 10 out of the 11 counts against him of crimes against humanity and breaching warfare laws in the war and sentenced him to 40 years in prison.
Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of one of the two counts of genocide in relation to the July-November 1995 mass murder of Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, and the forced deportations of Muslim women, children and the elderly from the same town.
The Bosnian War erupted between Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croats when Bosnia and Herzegovina announced its secession from Yugoslavia in 1992. The war claimed the lives of over 100,000 people, and forced more than two million people from their homes.