The UN human rights tribunal in the Hague has declared former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić “criminally responsible” for the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica – Europe’s worst since World War Two, in which 8,000 people died.
The 70 year old was found guilty for 10 out of the 11 charges he faced at the international criminal tribunal. Acquitted of a first count of genocide, he was found ultimately responsible for Srebrenica, the siege of Sarajevo and crimes against humanity in other towns and villages during the Bosnian war of the 1990s.
He has been sentenced to 40 years in jail.
Karadžić, who once headed the self-styled Bosnian Serb Republic and was Supreme Commander of its armed forces, said ahead of the verdict that he had worked to uphold peace and deserved praise, not punishment.
“My permanent fight to preserve the peace, prevent the war and decrease the sufferings of everyone regardless of religion were an exemplary effort deserving respect rather than persecution,” he said.
He is the highest-ranking person to face trial over the Bosnian War, in which 100,000 people were killed, and the country divided along ethnic lines that largely survive today.