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27 May 2016

Bosnia War Victims Slate Call to Release Karadzic

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Representatives of Bosnian victims' associations have condemned reports that the Hague tribunal is considering temporarily releasing the former Bosnian Serb leader.
Radovan Karadzic’s lawyer told the media on Thursday that Karadzic has requested temporary release to attend a commemoration ceremony of his brother’s death.

Petronijevic added that the Serbian government had provided guarantees that Karadzic will not flee justice.

Hatidza Mehmedovic, president of the “Srebrenica mothers” association, told BIRN that she was shocked the proposal was not immediately rejected.

“I am gutted. We believe in this court, but it has turned into a market. If this happens, that will be a stain on the international community. We hoped for justice, but without justice there is no better future,” Mehmedovic said.

Fikret Grabovica, president of the association of parents of children killed in the Bosnian Serb siege of Sarajevo, said that this would be another failure of the Hague court.

“The Tribunal is making one mistake after another. This would be the biggest yet. It is surreal to release Karadzic for a minute, especially to [release him to] Serbia,” Grabovica whose daughter was killed by a Bosnian Serb sniper in Sarajevo, said.

Nihad Kljucanic, president of the association of former camp detainees in Sanski Most, also said that Karadzic should not be released.

“I am shocked this is being discussed. How can be he released to a commemoration for his brother’s death, when so many were killed and have no commemoration?” Kljucanin asked.

Petronijevic said that the decision on whether Karadzic will be released will be made by Tuesday.

Karadzic previously asked to be granted temporary release in April, pending a decision on his appeal to the verdict which sentenced him to 40 years in prison for genocide in Srebrenica, crimes in Sarajevo, persecution of non-Serbs and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

A decision regarding this request has still not been made.
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