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The Hague begins hearing Karadzic’s appeal

The hearings will last until April 24

THE HAGUE, April 23. /TASS/. The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) has begun to hear an appeal against a 40-year prison sentence handed to Bosnian Serb ex-leader Radovan Karadzic.

Presiding Judge Theodor Meron said in his opening statement that Karadzic had been charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war. He called on the parties to refrain from repeating what had already been said during the trial and point to possible mistakes.

Peter Robinson, Karadzic's lawyer, in turn, said that he intended to secure either the acquittal of his client or a new trial. He pointed out that Karadzic had been first brought before The Hague court ten years ago but there was more hope for justice now.

The hearings will last until April 24. The prosecution has also filed an appeal against the verdict and announced plans to ensure that Karadzic is found guilty of committing genocide in a number of municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and be handed a life sentence. Karadzic himself is expected to address the court before the hearings conclude.

Karadzic, the former leader of the Bosnian Serbs, spent 13 years as a fugitive before being captured by Serbian intelligence services in a Belgrade suburb in July 2008. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) launched a trial against him in October 2009. In March 2016, Karadzic was found guilty on 10 out of 11 counts, particularly concerning the Srebrenica massacre, and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals was set up by the United Nations Security Council to complete the work initiated by the ICTY (which closed its proceedings on December 31, 2017) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (closed on December 31, 2015).