Having highlighted Radovan Karadzic’s responsibility for the artillery and sniper terror campaign in Sarajevo and the Srebrenica genocide, prosecutor Alan Tieger concluded the closing argument by demanding a life sentence for the former Republika Srpska president

Melissa Pack, prossecutor at Radovan Karadzic trialMelissa Pack, prossecutor at Radovan Karadzic trial

On Tuesday the prosecution completed its closing arguments at the trial of Radovan Karadzic by calling for the harshest punishment set out by the Tribunals Statute for the former Republika Srpska president. According to prosecutor Tieger,justice for all the victims calls for nothing less than a life sentence. The time has come, the prosecutor stressed, for Karadzic to face responsibility for the crimes committed under his command.

On Tuesday the prosecutor continued with the closing arguments, focusing on Karadzics responsibility for the joint criminal enterprises that comprise the artillery and sniper terror campaign in Sarajevo and the genocide in Srebrenica. Karadzic had the key role in the terror campaign against Sarajevo. According to prosecutor Katrina Gustafson, Karadzic used terror in the Sarajevo theatre of war as a strategic weaponto put the pressure on the BH authorities, to gain advantage in the negotiations or to retaliate for losses in other battlefields. Throughout that time, Karadzic kept dismissingthe river of protestsfrom the representatives of the international community. Together with Mladic, Karadzic would ratchet the intensity of the terror campaign up or down, depending on the current goals, and used it as a lever in the negotiations with the enemy side or the international mediators.

Karadzic chose to exterminate the Muslim population of Srebrenica, said prosecutor Melissa Pack. Karadzics subordinates took away all the personal possessions and documents from the men and boys and then proceeded to kill themdeliberately and methodically, simply because of their identity. Karadzics forces inflicted grave physical and mental suffering on the men who survived the mass executions by miracle. The same goes for the women and children of Srebrenica who were separated from their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers. Their lives were destroyed as a consequence.

Karadzic, the prosecutor went on to stress, is now trying to shift the blame for Srebrenica on Mladic, Beara and the VRS Main Staff. Mladic and Beara are responsible but that doesnt exonerate Karadzic, prosecutor Pack said. As she insisted, Karadzic and Mladic are responsible for the deaths of about 7,000 boys and men who were summarily executed in the four days after the Serb forces captured Srebrenica on 11 July 1995. The rest of the population was evacuated from the enclave in two days. The operations were deliberate, planned and well-organized, the prosecutor noted.

The prosecutor went on to highlight three incredible claimsmade by Karadzic:that his conduct vis-a-vis Srebrenica wasexcellent, that for years after the war he was not aware of the mass executions, and that there was no plan to kill the captured inhabitants of Srebrenica until the first incident in Kravica on 13 July 1995. In fact,Karadzic tried to play down the powers he had in July 1995. The truth is that Karadzic was the president and supreme commander of the armed forces. He supervised and managed the operation in Srebrenica, the prosecutor stressed.

Tomorrow Karadzic will begin presenting his closing arguments. He had been given the same amount of time as the prosecution, 10 hours, to do it.

Melissa Pack, prossecutor at Radovan Karadzic trial
Katrina Gustafson, prossecutor at Radovan Karadzic trial