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No Decision Yet on Where Karadzic Will Serve Sentence

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals in The Hague has not yet decided in which country Radovan Karadzic will serve his life sentence after his conviction in March for genocide and other wartime crimes.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The UN’s war crimes court has yet to decide here the former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic will be sent to serve his life sentence, BIRN has learned.

He will be jailed in one of the countries that has concluded agreements with the UN to enforce sentences handed down by the Hague-based tribunal, and not in any of the former Yugoslav states.

Other Hague convicts are currently serving sentences in Austria, Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals told BIRN that its rules stipulate that a convicted person should be transferred to serve his or her sentence as soon as possible, but that there is no deadline.

“In accordance with relevant practice guidance, the president [of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals] will consider a variety of information when deciding, including all relevant views expressed by the convicted person,” it said in a written response to BIRN’s inquiry.

Karadzic’s lawyer Peter Robinson said that the defence has been given no information so far about where Karadzic will serve his sentence.

“We have had no indication of any decision on where President Karadzic would serve his sentence. We asked to be informed which countries they were addressing and that we would have some input on the process, but the Registry [of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals] refused,” Robinson told BIRN.

“They said once they had chosen the country and reached an agreement, they would let us know and ask for our comments at the time,” he added.

Karadzic, the wartime president of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska, was sentenced in March this year to life in prison for the genocide of Bosniaks from Srebrenica, persecution across the country during wartime, terrorising the population of Sarajevo during the siege of the city, and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

Emina Dizdarević Tahmiščija

This post is also available in: Bosnian