Bosnian Serb leaders opposed to renewing lawsuit against Serbia

Bosnia and Herzegovina Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak and Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, in separate statements on Tuesday, opposed a review of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the Bosnian law suit against Serbia for military aggression and genocide.

A review was announced by Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency Chairman Bakir Izetbegovic in Sarajevo on Monday, when he said that a review was possible if new elements were found in the guilty verdict against Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) last week.

Crnadak told a press conference in Banja Luka that the ICTY verdict, which sentenced Karadzic to 40 years in prison for war crimes and the Srebrenica genocide, could not affect the present constitutional organisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the existence of Republika Srpska, the country's Serb entity, adding that the possibility of renewing a lawsuit against Serbia should not be considered at all.

"I am confident that it would be better for us all in Bosnia and Herzegovina to start cooperating rather than renew old charges or bring new ones," Crnadak said.

Dodik explicitly stated that the Karadzic verdict did not contain any new elements for legal action against Serbia. "A renewal of the lawsuit is out of the question. That's not on the agenda," Dodik told local media.

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 on Monday 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.

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: Tue, 29/03/2016 - 18:57

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