Bosnian Serb leader: Republika Srpska does not trust the Hague tribunal

Source: Kabinet Predsjednika RS

Republika Srpska (RS) does not trust the Hague tribunal, said Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, speaking ahead of the final verdict that the UN's court is set to pronounce in Radovan Karadzic case. He added that he, however, “somehow believe that some kind of justice will possibly win.”

Speaking for Serbian media a day before the court decides on whether to uphold the first-instance verdict in the case against wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Dodik said he personally did not believe in “regularity of that court, which failed to provide the basis for reconciliation with its decisions.”

The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, legal successor of the International Criminal Tribunals for former Yugoslavia, will hand down the final verdict on Wednesday with the pronouncement taking place at 2 .m. in Courtroom I of the Mechanism's Hague branch.

Karadzic, the President of wartime Republika Srpska, now a Serb-dominated part of Bosnia, was sentenced on March 24, 2016, to 40 years in prison by the now-closed ICTY.

He was convicted of various crimes against humanity, including the ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks and Croats, the siege of Sarajevo, the Srebrenica genocide and taking the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) members hostages during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

He was acquitted of genocide charged in other municipalities in Bosnia.

According to Dodik, it is not possible that only one side in the conflict was guilty.

“Did Karadzic make a decision on having civilians attacked somewhere – he did not,” Dodik told PINK TV's central news, adding that accusations of command responsibility obviously refers to the Serbs only.

“The lack of trust in the Hague court” in Republika Srpska only got stronger with the allegations that some pieces of evidence have gone missing, he noted.

Karadzic's defence team said following the first-instance verdict that the initial trial was unfair and called for a re-trial, which was rejected. Karadzic also personally addressed the Court, describing the crimes he was convicted of as a “myth.”

Both Karadzic and the prosecution appealed the 2016 judgement.

The initial indictment against Karadzic was confirmed on July 25, 1995. He was arrested in Serbia on July 21, 2008, and transferred to the ICTY a few days later. The trial commenced on October 26, 2009, and 586 in-court testimonies were heard by the Trial Chamber.