The text panels in the exhibit referring to Radovan Karadzic were updated following his arrest in July 2008, in the vicinity of Belgrade by Serbian security police.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) issued a joint indictment for Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the Commander of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb army (VRS) on July 24, 1995. On November 14, 1995, the ICTY amended this indictment to include the charge of genocide for the Srebrenica massacre. Karadzic’s indictment was further amended on May 31, 2000, and then again following his arrest. The most recently amended February 27, 2009, indictment of Karadzic charges him with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for crimes committed in a total of 27 municipalities in Bosnia. Two of the 11 counts in the indictment are for genocide -- the first in relation to crimes in ten of these municipalities between March and December 1992 and the second for the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995.

Karadzic successfully eluded justice for thirteen years by receiving protection from officials within the Bosnian Serb Republic and Serbian governments. Demands for Karadzic’s arrest were repeatedly made by Carla Del Ponte, former chief prosecutor of the ICTY who completed her term in December 2007, associations of survivors and all non-governmental organizations involved in the international campaign for justice for the victims and survivors of Srebrenica.

Karadzic’s arrest was finally ordered by Serbian President Boris Tadic, the leader of the Democratic Party, which is seeking European Union membership for Serbia. The European Union has required the arrests of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, who remains at large, as a precondition for Serbia’s admission to the EU.

Serge Brammertz, the current chief prosecutor of the ICTY, highlighted the significance of Karadzic’s arrest for his victims and for the cause of international justice.

On July 30, 2008, Karadzic was transferred from Belgrade to The Hague to be placed on trial at the ICTY. The charges against Karadzic were read during his first court appearance on the next day. When he appeared in court again on August 29, Karadzic represented himself, challenged the legitimacy of the ICTY, and refused to plead guilty or not guilty. In accordance with court procedure, presiding Judge Iain Bonomy then entered a plea of “not guilty” for all eleven of the charges against Karadzic.

As Karadzic was a founding member and the president of the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) that initiated the war in Bosnia (1992 –1995), his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will provide an unprecedented opportunity to consider several crucial aspects of the war, including the siege of Sarajevo, the military planning for the capture of Srebrenica in July 1995 and the subsequent executions of over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

Karadzic’s trial may also reexamine the crucial assistance that nationalist Bosnian Serbs received from Slobodan Milosevic, then president of Serbia. In November 2001, the ICTY issued its third and last indictment of Milosevic for his role in the war in Bosnia. Milosevic was charged with genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and violations of the laws or customs of war. Milosevic’s alleged guilt was predicated on his command responsibility and/or participation in a “joint criminal enterprise” with Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, among other individuals, the purpose of which was “the forcible and permanent removal of the majority of non-Serbs, principally Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, from large areas of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Milosevic died in prison in March 2006 prior to the completion of the defense portion of his trial.

For the ICTY indictment of Karadzic, see the website of the ICTY: www.icty.org, "The Cases," Karadzic, Radovan. For information about Karadzic and the significance of his arrest and trial, see the websites of Human Rights Watch: www.hrw.org and Amnesty International: www.amnestyusa.org and articles posted on the websites of the BBC: www.bbc.co.uk and The New York Times: www.nytimes.com Weekly updates of ICTY trials and proceedings are provided on the website of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR): www.iwpr.net (See International Justice / ICTY). This website comprises archived reports on previous Srebrenica-related trials. For historical background on Karadzic and the war in Bosnia, see the website for the 1998 PBS/Frontline documentary on Karadzic: www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/karadzic

For the transcripts of the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, see: www.icty.org, "The Cases," Milosevic, Slobodan. The weekly reports on the Milosevic trial posted by human rights lawyer Judith Armatta are now archived by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting at: http://iwpr.net/?apc_state=hen&s=c Armatta observed the trial for the Coalition for International Justice and is the author of Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milosevic (Duke University Press, forthcoming). See also the Human Rights Watch report, Weighing the Evidence: Lessons of the Slobodan Milosevic Trial, which was published on December 14, 2006. This report may be accessed on the Human Rights Watch website: www.hrw.org

The ICTY is now referring war crimes cases that were committed on the territory of Bosnia & Herzegovina to the Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina in Sarajevo. The official website for this court is: www.sudbih.gov.ba See, for example, the Srebrenica-related cases of Milos Stupar (Stupar et al) and Milorad Trbic. To access their cases, search for Stupar, Milos and Trbic, Milord in the “accused by last name” search box on the home page. For the Prosecutor's Office of BIH, see: www.tuzilastvobih.gov.ba Texts in English translation are provided on both websites.

For additional resources on Srebrenica, see: www.domovina.net

For the text of the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide that is central to the ICTY prosecution of Radovan Karadzic, see: www.un.org/millennium/law/iv-1.htm

Lisa DiCaprio
This page was last updated on April 2, 2009