France praises courage of witnesses in Karadzic genocide trial

PARIS, The French Foreign Ministry on Thursday praised the courage of witnesses in the trial of former Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who oversaw the widespread massacre of Muslim populations in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the early 1990s.

Karadzic was convicted to a life sentence on appeal at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday, found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes between 1992-1995 in predominantly Muslim Bosnia.

In particular, Karadzic is notorious for ordering the killing of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Srebrenica enclave, despite the area being under UN protection.

He was also found guilty of the bloody campaign against the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, which was put under siege and bombarded for almost two years, killing many civilians.

Karadzic again pleaded not guilty but his sentence on appeal was toughened up to a maximum of life in prison. He has no further appeal rights in the ICC.

He is directly held responsible, with other Serbs like General Ratko Mladic, for the deaths of 100,000 Bosnians and the displacement of 2.3 million refugees.

“France praises the courage of the victims and the witnesses who spoke in front of the criminal court,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a briefing.

The statement stressed that “it is indispensable that all those responsible for the gravest crimes committed in the Western Balkans be judged so that the countries of the region can look towards the future.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency