Karadzic was 'unaware' of Srebrenica massacre: lawyer

2nd October 2014, Comments 0 comments

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic "did not know" of the 1995 massacre of thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica, his lawyer said Thursday, seeking an acquittal on charges of genocide.

"There is not a single piece of evidence that Dr Karadzic planned or ordered the execution of prisoners (at Srebrenica), or that he knew about it," his legal advisor Peter Robinson told the Hague-based Yugoslav war crimes court.

"In fact they (events) were concealed from him and therefore he is not guilty of genocide," Robinson said in closing arguments before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Once one of Europe's most wanted men, Karadzic, 69, denies charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1990s Balkan conflict.

Karadzic is accused of being one of the masterminds of ethnic cleansing during Bosnia's brutal civil war that claimed more than 100,000 lives and uprooted 2.2 million others.

The president of the former self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb republic faces a total of 11 charges, most notably that of genocide for his alleged role in the Srebrenica massacre.

Almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered and their bodies dumped in mass graves after Bosnian Serb forces overran the UN-protected enclave in eastern Bosnia in July 1995.

A final verdict in the marathon five-year trial is not expected before late 2015.

© 2014 AFP

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