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Trial Chamber issues international arrest warrants against Karadzic and Mladic and rebukes Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska for failing to arrest them.

Press Release

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 11 July 1996

Trial Chamber issues international arrest warrants against Karadzic and Mladic and
rebukes Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska for failing to arrest them

Decision Invites Prosecutor to Lay Additional Genocide Charges and Emphasises Karadzic's and Mladic's Individual Responsibility

Trial Chamber I of the International Tribunal has unanimously reconfirmed the two indictments against Radovan KARADZIC and Ratko MLADIC and issued international warrants for their arrest.

The international warrants will be sent to all States and, if necessary, to the Implementation Force (IFOR). All States will henceforth be legally obliged to arrest the accused if they come within their jurisdiction.

The Trial Chamber has also charged the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Republika Srpska with failure to cooperate with the International Tribunal.

Trial Chamber I ascribed the failure thus far to arrest KARADZIC and MLADIC "to the refusal to cooperate with the Tribunal by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and by the Bosnian Serb administration in Pale which has become Republika Srpska".

The Trial Chamber noted in particular that the failure by RS to arrest the two accused is a breach of the obligations made on its behalf by the FRY during the Dayton Peace Agreement. "[T]he Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has given an undertaking to ensure that Republika Srpska would cooperate fully with the International Tribunal". As the guarantor of RS, the FRY is responsible for that entity's failure to honour its obligations.

The Trial Chamber has entrusted to the Tribunal's President the task of informing the UN Security Council about this failure by the FRY and RS to comply with their legal obligations.


In its decision, the Trial Chamber invited the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal to consider laying additional charges of genocide against the accused.

According to the Trial Chamber, the accused demonstrated evidence of genocidal intent not only in the setting up and running of detention camps but also in "other methods of 'ethnic cleansing' indicated by the Prosecutor such as, among others, deportation, shelling, and the siege of cities."

"In addition, certain methods used for implementing the project of Ôethnic cleansing' appear to reveal an aggravated intent. This explains the massive scale of the effect of the destruction: the number of victims selected because of their membership of a group alone leads one to the conclusion that an intent to destroy the group, at least in part, was present."

The Trial Chamber considered "that certain acts submitted for review could have been planned or ordered with a genocidal intent and are covered by a classification of genocide. This intent derives from the speeches or projects laying the groundwork for and justifying the acts, from the massive scale of their destructive effect and from their specific nature, which aims at undermining what is considered to be the foundation of the group. The national Bosnian groups, Bosnian Croat and, specifically Bosnian Muslim, are the targets of those acts."

It thus invited the Prosecutor "to consider broadening the scope of the characterisation of genocide in light of the acts which it covers in the first indictment".


The accused are personally responsible for genocide and the other crimes with which they are charged, continued the Trial Chamber, in addition to having command responsibility.

The Trial Chamber states that "the evidence and testimony tendered all concur in demonstrating that Radovan KARADZIC and Ratko MLADIC were not only informed of the crimes allegedly committed under their authority, but also and, in particular, that they exercised their power in order to plan, instigate, order or otherwise aid and abet in the planning, preparation or execution of the said crimes"

. According to the Trial Chamber, "[t]he facts presented by the Prosecutor in support of the indictment permit the inference to be drawn that the offences charged were committed in accordance with a political programme and an institutional and military organisation".

KARADZIC's and MLADIC's key decision making-roles were described in detail by the Trial Chamber.

It found that "Radovan KARADZIC's central role in the political and military preparation of the take-over by the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina is clearly apparent. All of the evidence and testimony tendered by the Prosecutor shows that since July 1990, Radovan KARADZIC has been the unchallenged leader of the Bosnian Serbs. His actions and statements demonstrate not only that he was abreast of his subordinate's doings, but also, notably, that he endorsed their behaviour, that he participated from the first moment on in the planning of the policy of Ôethnic cleansing' in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that he himself was in a position to order the Bosnian Serbs' operations which led to the commission of prohibited acts."

As Chief of Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army, "Ratko MLADIC had full control over his generals and (. . .) was often personally involved in the operational decisions of the various corps, going so far as to change commanders' orders and to take tactical decisions in their stead. His power also extended to the political level (. . .)". The Trial Chamber concluded that his "knowledge of and involvement in the indictment has been sufficiently proven at this stage of the proceedings".

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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