On Friday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) continues to perpetuate the myth that the Serbian people were solely responsible for war crimes in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars.
The ministry’s statement followed yesterday’s conviction of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic by UN judges on charges of genocide for the alleged 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys after the overrunning of a UN "safe zone" by troops loyal to Karadzic.
The statement also said that the money spent on the international tribunal would have been better spent on the peace process in countries belonging to the former Yugoslavia.
The efficacy and impartiality of ICTY remains a highly contested issue. Notably, the tribunal receives substantial funding from NATO countries and Western financial interests, including George Soros and the Open Secrets Foundation. The tribunal has thus far charged 161 individuals with war crimes since its inception over 20 years ago, but has only successfully prosecuted 31 of those cases to conviction.
Karadzic was the most high-profile defendant before the tribunal following the death of Yugoslavia’s former leader Slobodan Milosevic, who died pending trial before the court.
Karadzic maintains that the alleged genocide of 8,000 Muslim men and boys towards the end of the Bosnian War in 1995 is a "myth" and says he is being prosecuted for "something that never even happened." Milosevic, prior to his death, maintained that the tribunal lacked authority to prosecute him as it was improperly established under article VII of the UN Charter, which attends to political matters.