Radovan Karadzic The Butcher Of Bosnia – Given Life Sentence

Radovan Karadzic

The United Nations international criminal tribunal in The Hague has Wednesday 20 March 2019 rejected former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic’s appeal against his conviction for genocide and war crimes committed during the war of 1992-1995 that saw the bloody carving out of the so-called entity Serbian Republic within Bosnia and Herzegovina and increased his sentence to life in prison. Without a shadow of a doubt Karadzic was one of the architects and leaders of the joint criminal enterprise to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territories throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina between October 1991 to 30 November 1995, which resulted in genocide and crimes against humanity.

Judges in The Hague upheld a 2016 ruling that Karadzic was responsible for crimes including the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica and the 44-month siege of Sarajevo which claimed about 10,000 lives.


Presiding judge Vagn Joensen said the original 40-year sentence did not reflect “the extreme gravity of Karadzic’s responsibility for the gravest crimes committed during the period of conflict, noted for their sheer scale and systematic cruelty”.


Reading the verdict of the five-judge panel, Mr Joensen said a life sentence was appropriate given the “extraordinary gravity of Karadzic’s responsibility and his integral participation in the gravest of crimes … committed throughout the entire area of the conflict in Bosnia”.


Dismissing Karadzic’s appeal, Mr Joensen said his “contention that he was a psychiatrist and poet with no military training ignores his extensive authority over Bosnian military forces.”

Reportedly Karadzic’s lawyer Peter Robinson said outside the court on Wednesday:

“Karadzic says that if the choice to have an independent [Serb republic in Bosnia] meant that he had to lose his freedom, he’s prepared to make that choice and lose his freedom.”


As a reminder, Radovan Karadzic warned Bosniaks and Croats about the dangers of an impending war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a speech in October 1991 in the Bosnian parliament, after Slovenia and Croatia had already declared independence from Yugoslavia and war of Serb aggression was at its genocidal and ethnic-cleansing of Croats terrifyingly raging stage. He said that leaving Yugoslavia would plunge Bosnia and Herzegovina into violence. The same destiny Croatia was fighting against, defending itself at the time of his speech in Bosnian parliament.

“The road that you are choosing for Bosnia and Herzegovina is the same highway to hell and suffering that Slovenia and Croatia have already taken,” he told lawmakers.

It was a speech that seemed to predict the brutality of the coming conflict, and the massacres that would follow. It would be a “replica” of Serb atrocities that were happening in Croatia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina became independent in 1992, after a vote that was opposed by Serbs who wanted to remain part of Yugoslavia, and then the war broke out.


Karadzic’s wartime military chief, Ratko Mladic, is also appealing against the life sentence he was given in 2017 for genocide and war crimes. The former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, Karadzic’s long-time patron during the war, was on trial in The Hague until his death in 2006  Ina Vukic


Slobodan Milosevic Not Innocent – Still, Serbia’s War Crimes Deniers Get Field Day

Former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic is led into the courtroom of the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague 2002 PHOTO : JERRY LAMPEN/AFP/Getty Images

Former Serbian president
Slobodan Milosevic
is led into the courtroom
of the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague 2002


Dubbed “the butcher of the Balkans”, Serbia’s late Slobodan Milosevic almost rose from the grave with a bright halo glowing above his head last month when a handful of apparent Serb war crimes and Slobodan Milosevic apologists briefly succeeded in convincing much of the unsuspecting world that The UN crimes tribunal in the Hague had acquitted/exonerated him of war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s as part of joint criminal enterprise. Andy Wilcoxson and Neil Clark dropped into the world’s public arena a hotter than burning claim that sent members of Serbia’s leadership dancing in deliriums of denial and pathetic disregard for victims of horrible crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s and false interpretation of justice – oblivious to truth and reality.


Neil Clark served  the world (via RT) the evidently calculating sensational claim that the late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who died 2006 in The Hague cells, was “exonerated… for war crimes committed in the Bosnia war …”. Clark appears to have let himself loose and reckless, saying: “The ICTY’s conclusion, that one of the most demonized figures of the modern era was innocent of the most heinous crimes he was accused of, really should have made headlines across the world. But it hasn‘t. Even the ICTY buried it, deep in its 2,590 page verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who was convicted in March of genocide (at Srebrenica), war crimes and crimes against humanity…There was no official announcement or press conference regarding Milosevic‘s exoneration. We’ve got journalist and researcher Andy Wilcoxson to thank for flagging it up for us…”

Well, hello Mr Clark – Karadzic’s trial was not Milosevic’s trial and Milosevic was not tried – he went on and died in prison before the evidence against him could actually be tested in the court of law.

Ah, Andy Wilcoxon. Well, he wrote on a pro Slobodan Milosevic website in July 2016 analysing snippets of the ICTY judgment against Radovan Karadzic as if they were snippets from a trial against Milosevic where adequate or applicable evidence against Milosevic was tested! Wilcoxon in essence pronounced Milosevic innocent of war crimes by addressing a handful of paragraphs in the 2,615-page ICTY judgment against Karadzic. How calculating and cruel can some articles appear!

Radovan Karadzic 40 year prison sentence for war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina against Croats and Bosniaks Photo: AP

Radovan Karadzic
40 year prison sentence
for war crimes in
Bosnia and Herzegovina against
Croats and Bosniaks
Photo: AP

So, it was more than four months from the time the ICTY in the Hague delivered 24 March its judgment against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and sentenced him to 40 years imprisonment for war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Croats during 1990’s war, which saw ethnic cleansing and genocide create the so-called ethnically clean Serb Republic within Bosnia and Herzegovina, that journalists Neil Clark and Andy Wilcoxson decide to interpret the ICTY Judgment against Karadzic as a finding of Slobodan Milosevic’s innocence and got the world thinking that Milosevic has in The Hague trial been found innocent of war crimes in Bosnia & Herzegovina. The full judgment does have 2, 615 pages (or 2,590 – depending on format at hand) and it takes time to digest that but one cannot but suspect that such articles purporting to confirm Milosevic’s innocence in Bosnia and Herzegovina were what “the doctor ordered” and to be used to feed Serbia’s deluded genocide denial, denial of any guilt in the war they started and played a critical role of aggression in it, regardless of whether that aggression was physical or verbal or political.

Truly disturbing stuff!

Wilcoxon in his article enumerates a selection of paragraphs from the Karadzic judgment that he says evidences Milosevic’s innocence but apparently fails to actually quote those paragraphs in full or link them to the actual ICTY Judgment (for the reader to access easily)! One of these paragraphs Wilcoxson heavily relies for his preposterous claim is paragraph 3460 and that one says:


With regard to the evidence presented in this case (Karadzic case) in relation to Slobodan Milosevic and his membership in the JCE (Joint Criminal Enterprise), the Chamber recalls that he shared and endorsed the political objective of the Accused and the Bosnian Serb leadership to preserve Yugoslavia and to prevent the separation or independence of BiH and co-operated closely with the Accused during this time. The Chamber also recalls that Milosevic provided assistance in the form of personnel, provisions, and arms to the Bosnian Serbs during the conflict. However, based on the evidence before the Chamber regarding the diverging interests that emerged between the Bosnian Serb and Serbian leaderships during the conflict and in particular, Milosevic’s repeated criticism and disapproval of the policies and decisions made by the Accused and the Bosnian Serb leadership, the Chamber is not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence presented in this case to find that Slobodan Milosevic agreed with the common plan.” (Full Radovan Karadzic Judgment ICTY pdf here)

So, no sufficient evidence against Milosevic in Karadzic’s trial equals Milosevic’s innocence of the crimes as far as one can deduce from Neill and Wilcoxson’s incredulous claims. Wilcoxson enumerates several other paragraphs from the Karadzic judgment that mainly address meetings in Belgrade or in Pale (administrative centre of Serbian Republic then created by Serb’s as ethnically pure entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and tend to suggest Milosevic’s certain disagreement with the politics of Bosnian Serb leaders, but to me this is not evidence of Milosevic’s innocence. Indeed, Milosevic’s attitudes reportedly expressed at meetings do not necessarily automatically follow that he is innocent of the war crimes covered in Karadzic’s trial.

(L) Ivica Dacic, Serbian foreign minister (R) Aleksandar Vulin, Serbian labour, employment minister Photo: Tanjug/Nenad Milosevic

(L) Ivica Dacic, Serbian foreign minister
(R) Aleksandar Vulin, Serbian labour, employment minister
Photo: Tanjug/Nenad Milosevic


What’s even more disturbing is that most of Serbia’s media and some outside it promoted this deception for days, leaving that lie permanently available in the public domain. What’s further distressing and obscene is the fact that Serbia’s leadership via foreign minister Ivica Dacic (former member of Milosevic’s ultra-nationalist party) and labour and employment  minister Aleksandar Vulin “have been expressing triumphant satisfaction for days about claims (Clark and Wilcoxson) that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’s verdict convicting former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic also said that former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic wasn’t guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dacic has said that the Karadzic verdict also shows that Serbia itself was innocent of wartime crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But some Serbian analysts suggest that they are simply using these claims of Milosevic’s innocence in an attempt to rehabilitate the former leader’s policies and their own role in the wars of the 1990s, with which the country has never truly come to terms…”

Poor, wretched soul, Dacic, who accused the West of keeping quiet about Milosevic’s innocence because, if it spoke about the findings in ICTY Karadzic case about Milosevic’s innocence, then the West would tear down the justification for its politics towards Serbia! This man is truly mad! It doesn’t seem to cross his mind that Karadzic’s case was not Milosevic’s case and that the case did not pronounce Milosevic innocent nor would it have been just to do so (as all evidence tested was that to serve indictment against Karadzic).

An army of world’s top psychiatrists couldn’t heal this lot in Serbia from the devastating, dangerous delusions that include persistent and false sense of victimhood and denials of Serbia’s role in war crimes during 1990’s in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


But, wouldn’t you know it – Russian Pravda swiftly published a piece after Clark’s article saying that “International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague quietly acknowledged the innocence of former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic and went on with an interview with the French/ Russian journalist Dimitri de Koshko, another Milosevic apologist it seems, who went on to say: “Today, we are talking about the trial in The Hague that has seen its legal ending only now. Milosevic was posthumously and very quietly acquitted by the Tribunal.”

Unbelievable garbage! Nobody can be acquitted or found not guilty via a trial held against someone else!

The Tribunal did not acquit Milosevic. Trial against Milosevic stopped when he died. Did not continue! Did not finish. Perhaps Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina should join forces and seek to have it finished posthumously.


The indisputable facts are that Slobodan Milosevic presided over and oversaw the worst atrocities committed against humanity since WWII on European soil. Serbia’s soldiers as they entered Croatia’s Vukovar in 1991 with guns, knives, bombs, tanks sang: “Slobo, Slobo (meaning Slobodan Milosevic) bring us some salad, there’ll be meat – we’ll slaughter the Croats”; thousands of Bosniak men and boys slaughtered in Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina under the banner of Serb superiority and land theft – to just mention the very tip of the horrendous iceberg of war crimes committed.

Has Milosevic been exonerated of war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Has he been found or declared innocent? Heck no – not by a court of law; just by handful of journalists twisting and bending facts about the most serious matter of human existence – crime – to suit a political agenda that has nothing to do with justice. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


US based attorney Luka Misetic, who has significant experience in ICTY trials and appeals for war crimes recently tweeted the following on the matter (click on image to enlarge):


Serbia’s Red Berets’ War Crimes And A Good Wife

A Good Wife

The 25th anniversary of Croatia’s declaration of independence is fast approaching; 25 June is just around the corner. Personal wounds from war are still raw as most victims still wait for justice, for the perpetrators of crimes to own up, to repent, to acknowledge, to accept… to reconcile. Anyone who has had exposure, whether direct or through media, to the 1990’s Serb attacks against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina that had the sole purpose of ethnically cleansing of non-Serbs significant territory in those former Yugoslavia states and declaring them Serb/Serbia territories/regions, would remember Serbia’s Red Berets units operating with utter murderous depravity. The Red Berets sowed terror and mass murder everywhere they stepped – a cruel disregard for human life and wanton urgency to destroy it if it was not Serb.

When in March 1991 Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic sent special security operatives to Croatia he was whipping up Serbian nationalism, preparing to attack Croatia. As Croatia got closer to peacefully and democratically achieving its goal of independence from Yugoslavia Milosevic went about setting up murderous units within Croatia. Initially this was by way of helping local Serbs in Croatia establish special militias, killing units some of which would wear distinctive red berets and the rest of the world was only dimly aware of a simmering ethnic conflict that was about to explode in former Yugoslavia, unable to even imagine that this conflict would involve brutal ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs. Belgrade based Yugoslav politicians needed a way to make secret war on their own republics that were pushing for independence without involving the military. Red Berets were set up in Croatia (and later in Bosnia and Herzegovina) as units consisting of ex-policemen, ex-convicts and other self-proclaimed volunteers who would answer only to Serbian secret police. The Red Berets units in Croatia called “Ninjas”(Knindze) operated in the Serb self-proclaimed territory of Krajina and involved the leadership by Captain Dragan (also known as Dragan Vasiljkovic and Daniel Snedden) who in 1991 arrived in Croatia from Australia and immediately began serving as commander of a Serb Red Berets unit. Vasiljkovic was extradited to Croatia in 2015 and is currently before the courts answering to charges of five counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the conflict by ethnic Serbs in Croatia between 1991 and 1993.

Dragan Vasiljkovic Captain Dragan

Dragan Vasiljkovic, Serbian Red Berets operative in Croatia. Photo: Reuters/RE (screenshot tportal.hr, 2010     )

Serbia’s Red Berets operating in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (referred to as “Ninjas”, “Serb Voluntary Guard”, “Arkans”, “Tigers, “Scorpions”, “Wolves” or just “Unit”) significantly contributed to the invention of the 1990s version of “ethnic cleansing” and went on to become the most feared so-called paramilitary unit of the 1990’s wars in former Yugoslavia. Despite volunteers etc being members of Red Berets these units were certainly not paramilitary formations as they have often been described because Serbia’s state institutions formed them with the approval by the heads of state. There is no doubt that without such units, politicians like Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic would never have had the means to carry out their radical ethnic policies.

And just as the 25th anniversary of Croatia’s independence declaration arrives this month reflection upon the terrible past needs to include reflection upon the progress of any post-war reconciliation path between the different ethnic groups. Lasting reconciliation and peace can only be established through looking into the past and accepting as well as acknowledging both its good and evil – expressing and feeling remorse and sorrow for the evil perpetrated. But, speeches of some leading politicians, public figures and even government operatives in Serbia often reveal deep-rooted denials of any wrongdoing in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; they continue regurgitating WWII as if WWII occurred in 1990’s! Publicly expressed heartfelt remorse and true reconciliation for wrong doings as a matter of national course, particularly in Serbia where the original aggression stemmed from, are perhaps more distant now than ever before.

Scene from A Good Wife Mirjana Karanovic

Scene from A Good Wife
Mirjana Karanovic (Photo: Screenshot)

But seeds of light are visible. There are people who seem to think hard about remorse as part of reconciliation for the terrible war crimes committed in the name of ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. On Sunday 12 June I experienced a wonderful thing that pours hope into the process of true reconciliation and that wonderful thing was, in fact, seeing the 2016 Serbian film by a renowned Serbian actress and now film director Mirjana Karanovic, “A Good Wife” (Dobra Žena), that’s starting to hit world’s film festivals and cinemas (although it had its debut screening at this year’s Sundance festival some months back) with an increasing force and impetus of human foundations of lasting reconciliation.

In the movie, Milena (Karanovic) is a middle-aged housewife living with her not very sensitive but a good provider husband and their two children not far from Belgrade in a comfortable home who accidentally stumbles upon, discovers her husband’s war crimes in Bosnia as an operative of the Red Berets. She agonises as to what to do with the distressing discovery about her husband’s past. After a doctor confirms something she was trying to ignore — a neglected lump in her breast — and recommends immediate mammogram, Milena embarks on a furious bout of house and garage cleaning. She discovers videotape from her and her husband’s happier times; playing it on after the footage of her and her husband in younger days finishes, to her surprise, she discovers the tape also contains some shocking, chilling wartime footage of her husband and his Red Berets unit in Bosnia executing scores of bound and frightened civilians in cold blood. Now looking at the world through more alert eyes, Milena must reconsider everything that she once took for granted in her life; as she continues to study her husband and their surrounds including friends, a craving to effectuate justice subsumes her desire for affection.

Mirjana Karanovic in A Good Wife

Mirjana Karanovic in
A Good Wife (Photo: screenshot)

The discovery of that terrible secret festers deep inside Milena’s soul like a cancer, forcing her to act outside of her usual comfort zone of submissiveness and servitude; but, nonetheless, Milena approaches the situation with great stoicism. Passing comments and manners displayed by her husband Vlada and his other former Red Berets war mates show a repugnant attitude that the war crimes were not crimes at all – they were needed and justified for political gain of Serbia. The film masterfully addresses emotional intensity in all concerned through mostly telling glances and gestures, but also with alternating almost-fixed close-ups, seemingly taken with handheld camera, giving the effect of twitchy movements, which may unnerve at times until one realises the powerful effect this technique also brings to the portrayal of emotions in turmoil.

“Karanovic’s film intelligently presents the evils of ethnic cleansing by way of the guilt that suppurates within the country responsible for the atrocities. While xenophobes may selfishly believe that mass genocide will quell their fear of ‘others,’ they fail to consider how their actions will impact the world around them, especially their friends and family.”

While Karanovic said at the Sydney Film Festival screening that the movie has not had any notable or sweeping impact in Serbia she hopes it may contribute to wider discussions in the society about reconciliation once it is aired on television. As to what motivated her to co-write the script and make such a movie knowing that its theme would win her no fans in her own country (Serbia) but possibly pile enemies and resentment against her, she responded that she can only be what she is.
When I played Milena, I had a big empathy with her because I think it is very hard to change oneself at that age. You cannot bring back a lost soul. Once you lose your soul, then you are merely an empty shell that moves around. I made this film for my own soul.” She once said.

She said that she wanted to make a film on the subject for a number of years and that the idea became a compelling passion. She wanted to show what elements of human behaviour and emotions she believes one must go through in order to truly reconcile with those against whom one has committed terrible crimes. She articulated her deep beliefs that reconciliation for Serbs with regards to the 1990’s war crimes is only possible through admission of the crimes by each and every perpetrator and that Serbia’s society must also embrace this path instead of permitting denial to fester and thus keep the very idea of lasting reconciliation in perpetual turmoil. Certainly a film to see on many fronts but to me its best message is that cover-ups and denial of war crimes lead nowhere except eternal unrest and that Serbia still has a long way to go before any widespread positive progress in reconciliation with other ethnic groups in the region, linked by recent history of violence and war crimes – is made. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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