Karadzic appeals 40-year prison sentence | News | DW | 22.07.2016
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Karadzic appeals 40-year prison sentence

Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has appealed his prison sentence for genocide, accusing the UN judges of "a political trial." The 71-year-old convicted war criminal was implicated in the 1995 Srebenica massacre.

Karadzic has lodged an appeal covering 50 grounds claiming he "was subjected to a political trial that was simply designed to confirm the demonization of him and the Bosnian Serb people" by the UN's Yugoslav war crimes court, his lawyer Peter Robinson said in a statement Friday.

"Having spent eight years in a UN prison and gone through a five-year trial... Karadzic is convinced that international justice is a failed project," Robinson said.

The 16-page appeal seeks to overturn his March conviction for genocide and other charges, arguing that the judge's errors, "violated the presumption of innocence, created an unmanageable trial, and made a fair trial impossible."

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ruled that Karadzic, the most high-profile figure convicted over the wars that tore the former Yugoslavia apart, bore criminal responsibility for murder and persecution during the Bosnian conflict.

Nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys were butchered and their bodies dumped in mass graves at Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia in mid-July 1995, when Bosnian Serb forces brushed aside lightly armed UN Dutch peacekeepers protecting the so-called UN safe area.

Watch video 01:11

Bosnian-Serb leader Karadzic begins defense at genocide trial (2010)

The massacre was the largest bloodshed on European soil since World War II and galvanized public opinion against Serb forces fighting in Bosnia's three-way civil war that killed around 100,000 people from 1992-95.

Karadzic had been a long-time fugitive from justice until his arrest on a Belgrade bus in 2008. He has always maintained his innocence.

jar/kms (AFP, AP)