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Radovan Karadzic has been convicted of genocide and war crimes during the 1992-1995 war, and sentenced to 40 years in jail.

UN judges in The Hague found the former Bosnian Serb leader guilty of 10 of 11 charges, including genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Radovan Karadzic, 70, is the most senior political figure to face judgement over the violent collapse of Yugoslavia.

His case is being seen as one of the most important war crimes trials since World War Two.

Radovan Karadzic had denied the charges, saying that any atrocities committed were the actions of rogue individuals, not the forces under his command.

The trial, in which he represented himself, lasted eight years.Radovan Karadzic Hague verdict

Radovan Karadzic’s lawyer said he would appeal, a process that could take several more years.

He faced two counts of genocide.

Radovan Karadzic was found not guilty of the first, relating to killing in several Bosnian municipalities.

However, he was found guilty of the second count relating to Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serb forces massacred more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

“Karadzic was in agreement with the plan of the killings,” Judge O-Gon Kwon said.

Radovan Karadzic was also found guilty of crimes against humanity relating to the siege and shelling of the city of Sarajevo over several years which left nearly 12,000 people dead.

He can expect to serve two-thirds of his sentence. His time spent in detention – slightly more than seven years – will count towards the total.

Top UN human rights official Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein welcomed the verdict as “hugely significant”.

Radovan Karadzic said the trial “should give pause to leaders across Europe and elsewhere who seek to exploit nationalist sentiments and scapegoat minorities for broader social ills”.

At least 100,000 people in total died during fighting in the Bosnian war. The conflict lasted nearly four years before a US-brokered peace deal brought it to an end in 1995.

General Ratko Mladic, who commanded Bosnian Serb forces, is also awaiting his verdict at The Hague.

Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic has refused to testify after former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic called him as a defense witness at his war crimes trial at The Hague.

It was the first time Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic had appeared together in public since the end of the 1990s war in Bosnia.

Denouncing the UN Yugoslav war crimes tribunal as “satanic”, Ratko Mladic said testifying could harm his own case.

Both men deny charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In his case, Radovan Karadzic faces 11 charges, including genocide relating to the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Radovan Karadzic’s lawyer argued that Ratko Mladic was “the one person in the whole world who knows best what happened in the war in Bosnia” and that Karadzic was asking him to do his best to testify and to tell what had occurred.

Ratko Mladic initially refused to take the oath, saying: “Your subpoenas, your platitudes, your false indictments, I do not care one bit about any of it.”

He added: “I do not recognize this hate court. It is a satanic court.”

The judge warned him he could be held in contempt, with a possible jail term of up to seven years.

The session was then adjourned, apparently so Ratko Mladic’s dentures could be retrieved from his cell.

Ratko Mladic has refused to testify after Radovan Karadzic called him as a defense witness at his war crimes trial at The Hague

Ratko Mladic has refused to testify after Radovan Karadzic called him as a defense witness at his war crimes trial at The Hague

On the court’s return, the judge advised Ratko Mladic he was not obliged to answer questions if he thought the answers would incriminate him.

Radovan Karadzic then addressed Ratko Mladic in person, saying: “Good morning general, sir.”

Ratko Mladic did answer Radovan Karadzic’s first question – listing the posts and dates of his military career.

But following the second question – Did you ever inform me that prisoners from Srebrenica would be, were being or had been executed? – Ratko Mladic said: “I refuse to testify on the grounds of my health and because it may prejudice my rights as an accused.”

Lawyers representing Ratko Mladic say he suffers from a memory disorder that makes it hard for him to differentiate between truth and fiction.

The judge ruled Ratko Mladic would not be compelled to answer.

Radovan Karadzic read out his remaining questions, but received the same reply.

Ratko Mladic again asked if he could read out a seven-page statement but was refused. He denounced the court again as the session was adjourned.

Radovan Karadzic had been hoping his former ally’s answers would support his claims that the orders to commit war crimes did not come from him.

The key charges facing Radovan Karadzic relate to Sarajevo and Srebrenica.

The siege of Sarajevo lasted for more than three-and-a-half years – starving the capital of food and power.

Radovan Karadzic is alleged to have orchestrated the shelling of Sarajevo, and the use of 284 UN peacekeepers as human shields in May and June 1995.

In the Srebrenica enclave, Bosnian Serb forces overran the UN-defended safe area in the worst atrocity in Europe since the end of World War Two.

More than 7,500 Muslim men and boys were killed.

Ratko Mladic was the general in charge of the troops.

His trial is being conducted simultaneously at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Radovan Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade in 2008 after 13 years on the run.

He had been found living in disguise in Belgrade, under a false name and working as a New Age healer.

Ratko Mladic was on the run for 16 years before being arrested in 2011 in northern Serbia, where he had also been living under an assumed name.

When Bosnia-Hercegovina became an independent state in 1992, Radovan Karadzic declared the creation of the independent Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Hercegovina (renamed Republika Srpska) with its capital in Pale, a suburb of Sarajevo, and himself as head of state.

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