The convict for war crimes and former leader of Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic admitted before the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) in The Hague that crimes were committed against Bosniaks in Srebrenica, but that he did not know anything about them and therefore he has no responsibility, just like in regard to any other crime committed during the last war in BiH.
He claimed that the Serbs in BiH were only defending themselves and that “Muslims” constantly attacked and provoked them. He also said that he did not know anything about the crimes committed in Srebrenica until the end of 2008 when he was arrested in Belgrade and detained in The Hague.
Karadzic and his defense agreed that thousands of Bosniaks were killed in Srebrenica in July 1995, after the fall of this enclave, and the prosecutor Katarina Gustafson recalled that a conservative estimate of about 5151 killed persons is one of the components of the 40-year sentence to which Karadzic was sentenced before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide.
“It is clear that I could not contact anyone to get information regarding Srebrenica,” stated Karadzic about the lack of his personal knowledge about events that took place in July 1995.
Karadzic is asking for a final verdict in which he would be acquitted of all guilt, and the prosecution is requesting for him to be found guilty of genocide in seven municipalities other than Srebrenica, and thus, a sentence to life imprisonment.
Gustafson added that Karadzic definitively had the possibility to choose: to work on the realization of a joint criminal enterprise or to give up on it, and it is clear what was his choice. Therefore, it must be confirmed that he did not just passively watch the committed crimes.
“Karadzic and his associates knew that they will have to spill blood in order to achieve their goals, and they still decided to proceed with their activities,” said Gustafson.