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March 27, 2016

Former Bosnian-Serb Leader, Radovan Karadžić, found guilty of Srebrenica Massacre

Former Bosnian-Serb Leader, Radovan Karadžić, found guilty of Srebrenica Massacre

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

On Thursday, the 24th of March, 2016, former high-ranking Bosnian-Serb Radovan Karadžić was found guilty on 10 charges laid against him by the United Nation’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the Hague, the Netherlands. Mr Karadžić was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his alleged committal of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war during the 3-year conflict which claimed the lives of almost 100,000 people.

Mr Karadžić, who was the first president of the newly-formed Republika Srpska (a Serbian-aligned separatist section of north-eastern Bosnia & Herzegovina), was found guilty of orchestrating the shelling of civilian centres during the 3-year siege of Sarajevo. The tribunal also found him guilty of involvement in the organisation of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre, which oversaw the systematic separation and execution of over 7,500 Muslim men and boys over a period of 3 days. It aimed to “terrorise and demoralise the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population”, as Karadžić had planned a campaign of “ethnic cleansing’ in which Serbian-affiliated militias and paramilitary groups targeted non-Serbian civilians living within the territory of the breakaway Bosnian-Serb republic, Republika Srpska.

The sentence was handed down after a lengthy 8-year trial in which Mr Karadžić represented himself. Mr Karadžić previously claimed in a written statement that he bore the “moral responsibility” for the actions of Bosnian-Serb soldiers during the conflict as he was the political leader of the breakaway state, yet still claimed innocence of the charges laid against him. The decision caused civilian unrest in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, as Serbian far-right nationalists protested the UN’s verdict.


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May 1, 2012

Bosnia jails first female war crime convict

Bosnia jails first female war crime convict

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This file image shows Sarajevo apartment buildings damaged in the conflict.

A court in Bosnia has jailed the nation’s first female war crimes convict. Rasema Handanović, 39, admitted six killings in the village of Trusina in 1993.

Only one other woman has been convicted of crimes relating to the 1992-5 conflict in Bosnia, Bosnian Serb ex-president Biljana Plavšić. Plavšić was jailed for eleven years by an international court in The Hague, Netherlands in 2003 and later released.

Judge Jasmina Kosović noted mitigating conditions for Handanović: She had expressed remorse for the victims, she had co-operated and given testimony for use against others in the attack, she was a war rape victim, and she had lost family in the fighting. Handanović received a five-and-one-half-years prison sentence yesterday.

Kosović noted the convict “participated with other members of her unit in the executions of three civilians and three soldiers”.

Handanović, now a United States citizen whom Bosnia extradited, was part of a firing squad. The Trusina incident ultimately left eighteen civlians and four prisoners of war dead. She provided evidence against six other members of Zulfikar, a special unit within the Bosnian and Herzegovinan Army. Handanović had earlier struck a plea bargain.



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June 1, 2011

Ratko Mladić said to be too ill to face trial

Ratko Mladić said to be too ill to face trial

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ratko Mladić in 1993
Image: Evstafiev Mikhail.

Ratko Mladić, a former Bosnian Serb general, is allegedly too ill to face trial for war crimes. According to his lawyer, 69-year-old Mladić will not survive to see the start of proceedings.

Concerns for the health of Mladić come despite a Serbian judge having ruled him fit for extradition to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague only last Friday, a ruling which his lawyer seeks to appeal.

“It was impossible to have a coherent conversation with him or to talk of his defence,” said lawyer Milos Saljic, after meeting with Mladić on Sunday.

Cquote1.svg According to doctors, he doesn’t need hospitalisation. Cquote2.svg

—Bruno Vekaric, Serbian deputy war crimes prosecutor

Serbian deputy war crimes prosecutor Bruno Vekaric believes Mladić is using his illness in an attempt to delay his extradition.

“He’s a man who has not taken care of his health for a while, but not to the point that he cannot stand trial,” says Vekaric. “According to doctors, he doesn’t need hospitalisation.”

Chief prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic echoed these sentiments, stating that Mladić was both well enough to make the two-hour flight to the Netherlands and is conscious of the charges against him, despite claims from family members that the former general is not lucid.

Mladić’s son, Darko Mladić, is calling for his father’s health to be reviewed by independent experts. Mladić has reportedly suffered three strokes, the last in 2008, resulting in the partial paralysis of his right side. His family has expressed concerns he will not receive adequate treatment in The Hague.

Mladić is being indicted for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, notably the Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian war.



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May 28, 2011

Ratko Mladić arrested for war crimes

Ratko Mladić arrested for war crimes – Wikinews, the free news source

Ratko Mladić arrested for war crimes

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

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Ratko Mladić in 1993
Image: Evstafiev Mikhail.

Ratko Mladić, otherwise known as “The Butcher of Bosnia,” has been arrested after being sought for over a decade. The 69-year-old former Serbian general and war crimes suspect was arrested on May 26 by Serbian special police in Lazarevo, Serbia. Mladić was accused of war crimes shortly after the 1992–1995 Bosnian War. He was wanted for genocide and crimes against humanity, including the orchestration of a massacre of over 8000 Muslim Bosniak men and boys in Srebrenica.

The arrest has prompted protests from Serbian nationalists, who herald Mladić as a national hero and patriot. However, the international reaction to Mladić’s capture is more positive. French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised Serbia’s actions, saying it is another step for Serbia on the path to joining the European Union. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt gave similar praise, saying that the Serbia’s prospects of joining the EU are “brighter than ever.”

Serbia’s war crimes court ruled that Mladić is fit for trial, despite claims from family and supporters to the contrary. Ratko Mladić’s son Darko claims that his father is too weak to face extradition to The Hague for trial. Mladić could face extradition within a matter of days.



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May 15, 2011

Azerbaijan win 2011 Eurovision Song Contest

Azerbaijan win 2011 Eurovision Song Contest

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

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The Esprit Arena, the venue for the contest

Azerbaijan has won the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf, Germany. Duo Ell & Nikki, which consists of Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal, won the contest with 221 points after their performence of Running Scared. This is the first time that Azerbaijan has won the contest, they first appeared in 2008. Italy took second place and Sweden finished third.

Commenting on their country’s win the pair said “the one thing we want to say is, we just love you. Thank you for your support”. Gasimov continued to say that he was “the happiest man in the world”.

Azerbaijan received the maximum of 12 points from three countries, Russia, Turkey, and Malta.

Ukraine came fourth in the contest and fifth place went to Denmark. Switzerland came in last with 19 points. Host and last year’s winner Germany finished in tenth place. Other countries that participated in the final include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Ireland, Georgia, the United Kingdom, Moldova, Slovenia, Serbia, France, Russia, Romania, Austria, Lithuania, Iceland, Finland, Hungary, Spain, and Estonia.

Two semi-final heats were held in the days before the final to determine which acts would proceed to the final. Greece and Sweden won the semi-finals with 133 and 155 points. The countries that failed to make it to the final are Malta, Armenia, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, San Marino, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Belarus, Israel, F.Y.R Macedonia, Latvia, Cyprus, and the Netherlands



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April 2, 2011

Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team banned by FIFA

Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team banned by FIFA

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

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File photo of FIFA Sonnenberg Convention Center, in Zurich.
Image: Marcello Casal Jr. / ABr.

The national football team of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been banned by FIFA, the sport’s international governing body. The ban comes after the Bosnian Football Federation (NSBIH) rejected a demand from FIFA to change its three-man presidency to a single president. The change was rejected on Wednesday during an NSBIH meeting, causing FIFA and European football governing body UEFA to make the decision to suspend the federation.

FIFA and UEFA said in a statement that “[t]he NSBIH representative and club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions as of 1 April 2011 and until the aforementioned problem is solved. This also means that, as of 1 April 2011, no NSIBH official or representative may participate in any international match or event.”

The Bosnia and Herzegovina national team’s manager, Safet Susic, spoke out against FIFA’s ruling, blaming politics for the demand not being met. He said “[t]here is absolutely no chance that the NSBIH might find a way out of the present deadlock and get the job done. These people are incapable of running the NSBIH properly, although this situation is partly a result of political orders because Bosnia is an ethnically divided country where a dysfunctional system has now caught up with football. Denying the players a chance to perform on the big stage through no fault of their own is like sending innocent people to prison.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina are currently competing in the qualifying stage of the 2012 European championship. Bosnia are only five points behind group leaders France, and hold a game in hand over both Belarus and Albania. Unless FIFA’s ruling is reversed, it seems unlikely that Bosnia’s next game against Romania on June 3 will take place.



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March 31, 2010

Serbia condemns 1995 Srebrenica massacre

Serbia condemns 1995 Srebrenica massacre

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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Serbia’s parliament has approved a landmark resolution condemning the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb troops. This tragedy is considered the worst atrocity carried out in Europe since the Second World War and a symbol of the brutality of the 1992–95 Balkan wars.

After thirteen hours of debate, 127 of the 250 Serbia’s parliament lawmakers voted to pass the landmark resolution; only 173 were present. “The parliament of Serbia strongly condemns the crime committed against the Bosnian Muslim population of Srebrenica in July 1995”, says the resolution. Also, the text apologises to the families of the victims “because not everything possible was done to prevent the tragedy”.

But yesterday, Serbia showed the world how deeply divided it was. Democrats and Socialists, the pro-Western ruling coalition, voted in favor of the resolution because they want to bring Serbia closer to its goal of becoming a member of the European Union. The nationalist opposition, on the other hand, voted against it, saying that war crimes were made against Bosnian Serbs as well. Serb Muslim lawmakers were not satisfied with the text because it doesn’t use the word “genocide”, despite the term’s use by the European Union and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

The former Serb Bosnian leader Radovan Karadžić is currently on trial in the UN court. The general who commanded the Serb soldiers in Srebrenica massacre, Ratko Mladić, is still on the run. Slobodan Milošević, president of Serbia during the Balkan wars, was found dead in his cell four years ago.



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March 3, 2010

Former Bosnian president arrested in London

Former Bosnian president arrested in London

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

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Former Bosnian president Dr. Ejup Ganić was arrested by the Metropolitan Police at Heathrow Airport, London on Monday. He was attempting to leave the United Kingdom when authorities apprehended him.

Ganić was arrested on an extradition warrant issued by the Serbian government for alleged warcrimes he committed during the 1990s Balkans conflict. He is accused of involvement in a 1992 attack on a Yugoslav army convoy in Sarajevo where more than 40 people were killed.

Scotland Yard said Ganić “was arrested on behalf of the Serbian authorities under a provisional extradition warrant alleging ‘conspiracy to murder with other named people and breach of the Geneva Convention, namely killing wounded soldiers…’,”. A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed Ganić’s arrest following “a extradition request” from Serbian government.

Ganić, now 63 years old, appeared later at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where he was remanded in custody for four weeks. Another court hearing will take place on March 29 when the Serbian authorities are expected to file papers to support the extradition request. Serbian Justice Minister Snezana Malovic told the Beta news agency that her ministry would send the extradition request on Tuesday.

Ganić had been in the UK for several days, attending events at Buckingham University, which is partnered with Sarajevo School of Science and Technology where Ganić is a academic. He was also detained on Friday after arriving in London, but was released immediately as no extradition request had been received. Students at the Sarajevo university have phoned radio stations, urging Sarajevans to protest at the British embassy.

The Serbian Government had accused Ganić and eighteen others and issued warrants against them in 2009 over the May 1992 attack. He had dismissed these allegations as being “ridiculous” and said “For Serbia, anyone who defended our country must be arrested.”

Damir Arnaut, political adviser to Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) president Haris Silajdžić said, “Bosnia has tried to establish correct relations with Serbia, but this political act is obviously directed against Bosnia’s sovereignty.” Ganić’s daughter Emina accused Serbia of implicating her father “on the grounds of the evidence that already was dismissed by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.”

The Association of Detainees of Republika Srpska stated “by arresting Ganić the international community has finally understood that the time has come that war crimes committed against Bosnian Serbs be processed also.”

Ganić has a PhD in Engineering Science from the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston and had lectured in two American universities. He served as both vice-president and president of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina after it broke from the former Yugoslavia. The ethnic cleansing that ensued claimed more than 100,000 victims.



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October 26, 2009

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić boycotts genocide trial

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić boycotts genocide trial

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Monday, October 26, 2009

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Radovan Karadžić in 1994

The genocide trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić began today at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Karadžić faces 11 charges, including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, which relate to the Bosnian War of the 1990s. He denies all of the charges.

Now 64, Karadžić had been in hiding for 13 years before being taken to The Hague for trial, which opened 14 years after the events to which it refers, and is expected to last until 2012. Karadžić announced on Thursday that he did not intend to attend the opening day, and it began without his presence. As he plans to defend himself, the trial could not continue.

Karadžić says he needs more time to prepare, and the trial has been adjourned until tomorrow to allow the judges to consider their options. If Karadžić fails to attend repeatedly, a defence lawyer may be assigned to him in order to allow the trial to continue in his absence.

The start date has been delayed twice, and a request by Karadžić for a further 10-month delay was rejected. He has also attempted to request that the charges be dropped on the grounds that former US mediator Richard Holbrooke offered him immunity in 1996 if he retired from public life. The court rejected this appeal.


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October 10, 2009

Bosnian football fan’s suspected killer escapes police custody

Filed under: Bosnia and Herzegovina,Croatia,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oliver Knezovic, who is suspected of killing a Bosnia and Herzegovinan football club fan in the southwest town of Siroki Brijeg, has escaped from the custody of judicial police, local media reported on Tuesday.

Police have launched an investigation and the officers responsible for Knezovic have been suspended. Media reports suggest he fled to Croatia.

The president of the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Amir Jagnjac, said that Knezovic escaped at around midnight on Tuesday from the custody of police. He said that the officers who were on duty when Knezovic made his escape have been suspended.

Sarajevo resident Vedran Puljic, aged 24, was killed by a gunshot on Sunday in clashes that broke out as soon as fans of the Sarajevo team arrived in Siroki Brijeg to watch the game against the local football squad.



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