The Charges Against Radovan Karadzic

  • Radovan Karadzic in the ICTY courtroom. (Photo: ICTY)


Count 1


This count of the indictment states that Karadzic committed in concert with others, planned, instigated, aided and abetted, and/or failed to prevent or punish genocide against a part of the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat people. Members of these two groups, as well as their leadership, “were targeted for destruction”, the indictment states.

Karadzic is accused of being part of a joint criminal enterprise with other government, military and paramilitary officials to “remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from the territories of [Bosnia Hercegovina] claimed as Bosnian Serb territory”.

Count 1 further alleges that from March to December 1992, “Bosnian Serb political and governmental organs and Serb forces” carried out killings, torture, physical and psychological abuse and acts of rape and sexual during and after the takeover of the Bosnian municipalities of Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlastenica and Zvornik.

These acts and others were also committed in various detention centres, where the “inhumane living” conditions were “calculated to bring about [the] physical destruction” of the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats who were held there, the indictment states.


Count 2


  • Genocide

This count pertains specifically to the 1995 Srebrenica massacre during which some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered.

The indictment states that Karadzic committed in concert with others, planned, instigated, aided and abetted, and/or failed to prevent or punish genocide against a part of the Bosnian Muslim people.

He was allegedly part of a second joint criminal enterprise with other high-ranking officials to “eliminate the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica by killing the men and boys…and forcibly removing the women, young children, and some elderly men” from the enclave.

By these actions, Karadzic “intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica”, the indictment states.


Count 3


  • Persecutions (Crime Against Humanity)

This count alleges that Karadzic committed in concert with others, planned, instigated, aided and abetted, and/or failed to prevent or punish “persecutions on political and/or religious grounds against Bosnian Muslims and/or Bosnian Croats” in the municipalities of Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Bosanski Novi, Bratunac, Brcko, Foca, Hadzici, Ilidza, Kljuc, Novi Grad, Novo Sarajevo, Pale, Prijedor, Rogatica, Sanski Most, Sokoloc, Visegrad, Vogosca and Zvornik.

The persecutory acts were allegedly part of the objective to “permanently remove” Bosnian Muslims and/or Bosnian Croats in the municipalities, and the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica.

The indictment states that when municipalities were taken over, and afterwards, “Serb forces and Bosnian Serb political and government organs” imposed “restrictive and discriminatory measures, arbitrary searches, arbitrary arrest and detention, harassment, torture, rape and other acts of sexual violence, killing, and destruction of houses, cultural monuments and sacred sites”.

Some of these alleged acts continued in the detention centres, along with other persecutory abuses, the indictment states.

The persecutory acts in Srebrenica in July 1995 were allegedly part of the “shared objective” to “eliminate” Bosnian Muslims from the enclave, and included forcible transfer or deportation, killings, and the “terrorising and abuse” of Bosnian Muslims in nearby Potocari.


Counts 4, 5 and 6


  • Extermination (Crime Against Humanity),
  • Murder (Crime Against Humanity and a War Crime)

This count alleges that Karadzic committed in concert with others, planned, instigated, aided and abetted, and/or failed to prevent or punish the extermination and murder of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in the municipalities, Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, and the murder of civilians in Sarajevo during the 44-month siege of the city.


Counts 7 and 8


  • Deportation (Crime Against Humanity),
  • Inhumane Acts (Forcible Transfer) (Crime Against Humanity)

This count alleges that Karadzic committed in concert with others, planned, instigated, aided and abetted, and/or failed to prevent or punish the forcible transfer and deportation of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from the municipalities and from Srebrenica.

The indictment alleges that beginning in March 1992, a number of factors caused Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats to “flee in fear” including arbitrary arrest, harassment, torture, rape, killing and the destruction of houses.

Many fled to Srebrenica, which was declared a United Nations safe area in 1993. In March 1995, Karadzic and other high- ranking leaders allegedly began implementing a plan to “take over the Srebrenica enclave and forcibly transfer and/or deport its Bosnian Muslim population”, the indictment states.

Furthermore, “prior to the takeover [of Srebrenica], humanitarian aid was restricted to the enclave, and civilian targets were shelled and sniped in an effort to make life impossible for the inhabitants of the enclave and to remove its population”.

The “forcible removal of women, young children and some elderly men from the enclave” after it was taken over in July 1995 “formed part of the objective to eliminate the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica”, the indictment states.


Counts 9 and 10


  • Acts of Violence the Primary Purpose of which is to Spread Terror among the Civilian Population (War Crime),
  • Unlawful Attacks on Civilians (War Crime)

This count alleges Karadzic committed in concert with others, planned, instigated, aided and abetted, and/or failed to prevent or punish crimes of terror and unlawful attacks on civilians in Sarajevo.

After Bosnia Hercegovina declared independence and was internationally recognised, the city was subjected to “blockade, bombardment and sniper attacks”.

Karadzic, allegedly working with other members of the joint criminal enterprise, used members of the Bosnian Serb “Sarajevo Forces” to “establish and implement a military strategy that used sniping and shelling to kill, maim, wound and terrorise the civilian inhabitants of Sarajevo” between April 1992 and November 1995, the indictment alleges.

The sniping and shelling was carried out as people conducted “everyday civilian activities”.

“People were injured and killed inside their homes…The constant threat of death and injury caused trauma and psychological damage to the civilian inhabitants of Sarajevo,” the indictment states.


Count 11


  • Taking of Hostages (War Crime)

This count alleges that Karadzic committed in concert with others, planned, instigated, aided and abetted, and/or failed to prevent or punish the taking of United Nations military observers and peacekeepers as hostages between May 26 and June 19, 1995.

The alleged purpose of this was to “compel NATO to abstain from conducting air strikes against Bosnian Serb military targets”.

Threats were issued that “further NATO attacks on Bosnian Serb military targets would result in the injury, death, or continued detention of the detainees”, some of whom were “assaulted or maltreated” during their captivity, the indictment states. 
 


The Karadzic indictment was last updated in October 2009. It was initially issued in 1995, amended for the first time in 2000, and then again twice after his arrest.


Also in this issue

But defence witness says there was no policy to move Croats into deserted Serb homes.
Appeal judges dismiss his request to postpone the trial for another ten months.
Former Bosnian Serb army colonel says he thought his men treated population and prisoners humanely.
Former Bosnian Serb officer found guilty of involvement in Srebrenica killings.
Court hears that suspect spoke to soldiers about the rules of war.