Karadzic's lawyer slams French conviction

16th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

A lawyer for Radovan Karadzic on Wednesday slammed as illegal a French court's conviction of the former Bosnian Serb leader and his ally Biljana Plavsic for wartime abuses.

A French court Monday found Karadzic and Plavsic guilty of wartime abuses against a Bosnian family in 1992 and awarded the victims 200,000 euros ($280,000) in damages.

The French court awarded the compensation to Adil and Zuhra Kovac and their children, who fled to France having escaped from Bosnia after being attacked in their home at the start of the 1992-95 war.

"In principle that (ruling) does not represent anything, and at first sight that decision is illegal," Karadzic's lawyer Goran Petronijevic told the SRNA news agency, adding that he would not even react to the ruling.

Karadzic is currently on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) accused of genocide during the war in Bosnia.

"There is no ruling that Karadzic is guilty (by an international court). Also there is no link between the facts that he might be found guilty of (at the ICTY) and the crimes that happened according to them (the Kovac family)," Petronijevic said.

He added that the French court had no jurisdiction to decide whether a defendant was guilty of war crimes.

Plavsic, 79, who was part of the three-member Bosnian Serb presidency in 1992-93, served six years of an 11-year sentence after pleading guilty to war crimes, being granted early release in 2009.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article