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Former Bosnian Serb Leader Radovan Karadzic Guilty Of Genocide, War Crimes

U.N. judges have found former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Srebrenica and other areas of Bosnia during the war there during the 1990s.

Karadzic was acquitted of one of two charges of genocide in Muslim regions of Bosnia. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with allowance for the time he has already spent behind bars. He has been held since 2008.

Karadzic was being tried at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands. He faced a total of 11 charges, such as murder, terror and unlawful attacks on civilians.

Those crimes include the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II, the massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.

Karadzic denied the charges and defended himself during his trial, which lasted just short of 500 days. He said he worked for peace and tried to prevent war during his time as head of the self-styled Bosnian Serb Republic.

The 70-year-old former psychiatrist famously avoided capture for 11 years after the war, at one point growing long hair and a beard and adopting a fake name to live openly as a faith healer in Serbia.

He was captured in 2008 and became one of the most senior figures from the Bosnian war to go on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic died while in custody at the tribunal 10 years ago, and Ratko Mladic, the commander of Serb forces at Srebrenica, is in jail in the Netherlands awaiting sentencing.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.
Kevin Beesley