Go to contents

The First Conviction on a Charge of Genocide for Cleansing in Bosnia

The First Conviction on a Charge of Genocide for Cleansing in Bosnia

Posted August. 05, 2001 18:16,   


For the first time, the act of `cleansing` in the Balkans is condemned as genocide.

United Nation`s international war crimes tribunal in the Hague found the former general, Radislav Krstic, 53, guilty of genocide and sentenced him to 46 years in prison. The prosecutor`s expected conviction was life in prison.

Tribunal Judge Almiro Rodrigues ruled, `` Even if it was a command, killing thousands of people can be called a race cleansing and genocide.``

According to court statutes, genocide refers to ``acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.``

The verdict is the first conviction on genocide in wars issued by this United Nations` tribunal. In 1946, Nazi, were charged on crimes against humanity.

@ The massacres in the fields of Srebrenica : Bosnian Serb murdered 8000 men after they had expelled 30,000 of women and the elderly out of Srebrenica, Islamic city. It has become known as the greatest atrocity in Europe since World War II. The army commanded by Kristic committed this massacre when they occupied the Srebrenica, the United Nations protected enclave. So far 4000 corpses are found, yet the rest is still missing. The defendant Kristic insisted that he just followed the command from Gen. Ratko Mladic and Dr. Karadzic, who have been prosecuted in the international war crime tribunal but not arrested yet.

@ The implication of the verdict and international response: United Nations, U.S, France and Germany all have welcomed the verdict. The senior prosecutor of tribunal who prosecuted the former Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, said, `` the verdict will be a significant precedent, telling us that the war criminals are eventually punished for their sin.``

But bereaved families of the victims expressed their strong dissatisfaction with the verdict, saying `` 46 years in prison is too generous for the crime such as genocide. He deserves lifetime in jail even if he was 99 years old.``

Bosnian Ministry of Justice announced on 8.2 that they had arrested three people including Islamic former general Memed Alazic on a charge of war crimes and would hand them over to the tribunal to Hague.

Paik Kyung-Hak stern100@donga.com