13:48 GMT +322 September 2019
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    Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic sits in the courtroom for the reading of his verdict at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, on March 24, 2016.

    High-Ranking Bosnian Serb Politicians Discuss Karadzic’s Sentence

    © AFP 2019 / Robin van Lonkhuijsen / POOL
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    After a Hague-based tribunal sentenced Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, to 40-years in prison, Sputnik spoke with a couple of high-ranking Bosnian Serb leaders, former president of Republika Srpska Biljana Plavsic and current President Milorad Dodik, as well as Karadzic’s own brother – Luka.

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found Karadzic guilty of Srebrenica genocide in 1995 and sentenced him to 40-years in prison on Thursday.

    Karadzic faced charges of crimes against humanity during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, which erupted between Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croats when Bosnia and Herzegovina announced its secession from Yugoslavia in 1992.

    The war ended in December of 1995 after a peace agreement was signed in the United States. As the document, among other things, banned Karadzic from office, Biljana Plavsic succeeded him as the leader of Bosnian Serbs.

    Karadzic Will Receive Early Release From Prison

    Despite such a long prison sentence, Plavsic, who served as the second president of Republika Srpska, said Karadzic would get out of jail alive due to an early pardon.

    "I received 11-years and I thought I wouldn't survive until my release," Plavsic told Spuntik.

    In 2003, the ICTY sentenced Plavsic to 11-years in prison for alleged war crimes during the Bosnian War. However, Plavsic, who was a highly-accomplished scientist and former professor of biology at the University of Sarajevo, received a pardon and was released from jail in 2009 after serving two-thirds of her full sentence.

    Plavsic suggested that she thinks Karadzic, like her, would eventually receive a pardon that would shorten his prison sentence.

    When talking about the 1995 events in Srebrenica, Plavsic said she personally didn't witness genocide.

    "When there's genocide, women and children are killed, but I didn't see it; on the contrary, they [women and children] were rescued," Plavsic told Sputnik.

    The former University of Sarajevo professor criticized the ICTY and added that the Hague-based tribunal has nothing to do with justice, as it works to pursue the interest of Washington and its allies.

    During the Bosnian War, the US government supported Bosnian Muslims while ignoring the interests of Serbs living in Bosnia, Plavsic said. She also added that the United States is the country that is used to solve everything using brute force and it would never admit its own mistakes. That's why there will always be a one-sided version of the events that took place in Bosnia.

    Conviction of Karadzic Shows There is No Justice for Serbian Victims of War

    The ICTY has never been the place where justice is administered, Milorad Dodik, the current president of the Republika Srpska, told Spuntik.

    "Most Serbs, including myself, don't see the imprisonment of Karadzic as a good [fair] legal work and an attempt to seek for truth," Dodik said.

    Considering that the members of other ethnic groups involved in the Bosnian War weren't convicted and were allowed to walk freely after murdering Serbs, shows that there is no justice when it comes to Serbian victims — the story, which is being written in the Hague, is extremely one-sided, Dodik explained.

    "This verdict [the sentencing of Karadzic] wouldn't help to bring reconciliation among the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina," the current president said.

    Dodik pointed out that Naser Oric, a former Bosnian Army commander accused of torture and the killing of Serbs, walks around freely in Sarajevo. This shows the extreme level of double-standards and selective justice practiced in The Hague.

    By convicting Karadzic, the ICTY has shot itself in the foot, as the main objective of the ICTY — the reconciliation of the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina — hasn't been achieved. On the contrary, mutual distrust among the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina has increased, Dodik explained.

    "The sentence to Karadzic is draconian, but [the Bosnian government] in Sarajevo is still dissatisfied, because they wish neither Radovan nor Republika Srpska didn't exist at all," the president told Sputnik.

    Sentence to Karadzic is ‘Incomprehensible'

    The verdict is incomprehensible, according to Karadzic's brother Luka.

    "The verdict itself isn't clear, but reasons for judgment is just a disaster… it proves once again how this court [the ICTY] works," Luka told Spuntik.

    Luka was particularly furious about one instant when the ICTY first concluded that there were Bosnian Muslim snipers shooting at their own people to stir confrontation and draw an international intervention against the Bosnian Serb Army. However, then the tribunal added that the Serbs were also allegedly doing the same thing and shooting at Bosnians.    

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    Tags:
    double-standards, injustice, prison sentence, Bosnian War, Srebrenica massacre, Yugoslav Wars, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Luka Karadzic, Biljana Plavsic, Milorad Dodik, Radovan Karadzic, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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