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Russian human rights ombudsman: Britain demonstrates double standards on Karadzic case

March 25, 17:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW
London hails a politicized ICTY verdict passed on the former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, while showing no reaction to the crimes committed by the Kiev government, Konstantin Dolgov says
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Radovan Karadzic

Radovan Karadzic

© EPA/ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/POOL

MOSCOW, March 25 /TASS/. Britain is demonstrating double standards by hailing a politicized ICTY verdict passed on the former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, while showing no reaction to the crimes committed by the Kiev government, Russian Foreign Ministry Ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule-of-Law, said on Friday.

"British Prime Minister David Cameron has described a politicized verdict, which the International Criminal Court on the former Yugoslavia passed on Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, as a fight against impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity," Dolgov wrote in Twitter.

"But what should we do with impunity for crimes committed by strongmen and Neo-Nazis in the course of the Ukrainian conflict? Who is going to bear responsibility for them and when?" Dolgov asked.

"London and other western countries are still refraining from exerting pressure on the Kiev government in this issue. Again, it’s an unacceptable double standard," the Russian diplomat wrote.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced the former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, to 40 years in jail on Thursday.

Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon who announced the verdict said the court had found Karadzic guilty of 10 of 11 charges, including genocide in the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica where more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were executed in 1995. Karadzic was the only person who could actually prevent those killings but he did not do that, Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon said.

The former Bosnian Serb leader was acquitted of just one charge of genocide, which, according to the prosecutors, had been committed in seven municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. The judges’ considered the prosecutor’s evidence to be insufficient for classifying those events as genocide. However, the ICTY held Karadzic personally responsible for the murders committed in those municipalities (violation of laws and customs of war] as well as murders, extermination, deportation and forced resettlement (crimes against humanity).

According to the judges, Karadzic bears responsibility for murders, terror and illegal attacks on civilians during the siege of Sarajevo as well as for taking U.N. peacekeepers hostage with an aim to prevent NATO air strikes against the Bosnian Serb military targets.

"We are going to file an appeal [against the verdict]," Karadzic’s lawyers told journalists after the trial.

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