- Special Pages
SARAJEVO: Embittered relatives of victims of the Srebrenica massacre lashed out at wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic’s courtroom declaration yesterday that he should be rewarded for trying to avoid war in Bosnia, saying he was trying to fool the world.
“He committed such evil in this country that it is hard to tell if it will have a future, if we will ever return to a normal life,” Kada Hotic of the Mothers of Srebrenica association said. “He is trying to fool the world.”
Hotic spoke from Sarajevo after watching Karadzic launch his defence against charges including genocide at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague in proceedings broadcast live on Bosnian state television. He faces charges of genocide over the slaughter of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica in 1995 as well as charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for other atrocities during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.
“I should have been rewarded for all the good things that I’ve done because I did everything within human power to avoid the war and to reduce the human suffering,” Karadzic told the court. “He really reduced human suffering, he reduced the suffering of thousands of people by putting them in the ground. He ethnically cleansed many places,” Hotic said bitterly.
After the war Bosnia was split into two semi-independent entities — the Serbs’ Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation. Srebrenica now is in the Republika Srpska. AFP