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Radovan Karadzic Sentenced To 40 Years For War Crimes And Genocide

He writes poetry.

24/03/2016 15:50 GMT | Updated 24/03/2016 15:54 GMT

 

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has been convicted of genocide and nine other charges, and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal found Karadzic guilty of orchestrating Serb atrocities throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war that left 100,000 people dead, including the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the worst single act of genocide in Europe since 1945.

 

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Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon said Karadzic is criminally responsible for murder, attacking civilians and terror for overseeing the deadly 44-month siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, during the war.

Karadzic was on the run for years before being brought to justice for crimes that occurred over two decades ago.

Here are 10 things to illuminate the man behind the worst atrocity committed on European soil since World War II...

 

ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images

1) He's a poet

Half the morning's gone.
Coming down the hills
A strong and strapping wolf
Bit half the morning off
And in his heart it went
Up to the hills, to the wilds.
Every thing wept afterwards.
Up there in the hills, in the wilds
With wolves round a fire there is fun
The morn feeds itself to the flames
Not letting it die down.

 

2) He has a long history of criminality 

 

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3) He visited London to attend peace talks in 1992

 

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Leaders of the three factions in the Bosnian civil war, Croats, Serbs and Serbians, met in July 1992 shortly after the outbreak of war.

 

4) One bomb changed the course of the war

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On the 5 February 1994, a mortar fell over a crowded market in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.

Sixty-eight people were killed and 250 injured in an act that deliberately targeted civilians.

It was the single biggest loss of civilian life in the conflict up to that point and Radovan Karadzic, as political leader of the Serbian forces who perpetrated the attack, claimed the bodies filmed by TV crews and broadcast across the world had actually died of natural causes and had been planted. 

 

5) Over 8,000 mainly Muslim men and boys were murdered at Srebrenica

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The atrocity was committed by the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska, under the command of General Ratko Mladić.

Radovan Karadžić gave the order to capture the town. It was the worst atrocity committed on European soil since World War II. 

After graduating he began working in a treatment centre at the psychiatric clinic of the main Sarajevo hospital, Kosovo, where he is alleged to have supplemented his income by carrying out fake evaluations to criminals so they could plead insanity and escape jail.

 

6) While in hiding he posed as a faith healer

 

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Under the pseudonym D.D. David, Karadzic posed as a "new age" healer from 1999 up to his capture on 21 July 2008 in Belgrade and Vienna.

He attended conferences, gave talks and even had his own website where he advised using "Human Quantum Energy" to cure - amongst other things - sexual problems.

 

7) He spent 12 years on the run

 

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In 2007 Serbia had offered a reward of €1 million (£700,000) for information leading to his capture.

After 12 years on the run he was finally arrested on 20 July 2008 following a tipoff from an unnamed foreign intelligence agency.

 

8) His face once adorned brandy bottles

 

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During the hunt to bring him to justice authorities printed his face on brandy bottles which were sold at a sausage fayre.

 

9) During his genocide trial he claimed he deserved a reward...

 

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... for stopping suffering.

He told the UN war crimes court in The Hague: "Instead of being accused for the events in our civil war I should have been rewarded for all the good things I have done.

"Namely, that I did everything in my human power to avoid the war, that I succeeded in reducing the suffering of all civilians, that the number of victims in our war was three to four times less than the numbers reported in public."