Bosnian experts studying Karadzic verdict for possible review of lawsuit against Serbia

Bosnian legal experts are studying the guilty verdict handed down by the Hague war crimes tribunal last week in the case of former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic to see if it contains any new elements based on which Bosnia and Herzegovina could launch a review of a genocide suit against Serbia, the chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, said in Sarajevo on Monday.

Bosnia and Herzegovina had sued the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is Serbia as its legal successor, before the International Court of Justice (ICTY) in The Hague for military aggression and genocide committed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Izetbegovic said that the legal representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina before the ICJ were now analysing the Karadzic verdict, which the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) delivered on March 24.

"They will study the verdict and we will see if there are any new elements. If there are, we will not shun them. We will not ignore the suffering which the peoples of this country endured. We will launch a review, but we need new evidence," Izetbegovic, the Bosniak (Muslim) member of the collective Presidency, told the press. He added that it would be best for the Serbs and the Bosniaks to carefully read the entire verdict and try to mend their relations based on the facts confirmed by the court.

The Croatian member of the Presidency, Dragan Covic, said he did not believe the Karadzic verdict contained prerequisites for a review of the ICJ ruling. He said it was bad that every court ruling, and especially those by the ICTY, was politicised.

In February 2007 the ICJ dismissed Bosnia and Herzegovina's suit against Serbia as unfounded, but left open the possibility of Bosnia and Herzegovina initiating a review over the next ten years if new evidence emerged to back up its claims. The deadline for initiating a review expires in February 2017.

Last update: Mon, 28/03/2016 - 17:43

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