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Statement of the Office of the Prosecutor on the Conviction of Radovan Karadžić

Office of the Prosecutor | | The Hague |

The Office of the Prosecutor welcomes the Trial Chamber’s judgment convicting Radovan Karadžić of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentencing him to forty years of imprisonment. We are satisfied that the Trial Chamber accepted the extensive evidence proving beyond reasonable doubt Karadžić’s individual criminal responsibility for a broad range of crimes. These include crimes committed throughout municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as during the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica genocide.

Following the announcement of the verdict, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said:

In 1993, the world decided that victims in the former Yugoslavia deserved justice. For two decades now, those victims have put their trust in us to deliver it. Thousands came here to tell their stories and courageously confront their tormentors. Today, with this conviction, that trust has been honored. Justice has been done.

The truth established by this judgment will stand against continuing attempts at denying the suffering of thousands and the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.

Moments like this should also remind us that in innumerable conflicts around the world today, millions of victims are now waiting for their own justice. This judgment shows that it is possible to deliver it.

The Office of the Prosecutor also extends its appreciation to the international community, particularly the United Nations Security Council, UN Secretaries-General and the European Union. Their sustained commitment to accountability enabled us to secure the arrests of all our fugitives and complete our work.

The Office of the Prosecutor believes that while this judgment is an important step, the justice process is not yet finished. Prosecutor Brammertz noted:

Too many victims in the former Yugoslavia are still waiting for justice. And too many families still do not know the fate of their loved ones. I call upon national governments and the international community to continue supporting justice for war crimes and the search for missing persons at the national level.