The Chairman of the BiH Presidency, Milorad Dodik, said on the eve of a verdict that will be handed down to the first Republika Srpska President, Radovan Karadzic, that it is the opinion of the Republika Srpska public that the ICTY is not a just court and that it is not in the service of reconciliation.
“Affairs in the ICTY we have witnessed of late in connection with the disappearance of evidence and many other things communicated to the public by people who work in the court and judges who worked there certainly do not contribute to trust in decisions the court made earlier and the ones it will make in the future,” Dodik told reporters on Monday in Banjaluka.
Republika Srpska President Zeljka Cvijanovic said that, based on earlier experience, she is not optimistic at all when it comes to final rulings of the international court at The Hague and those pronounced at the level of BiH since she has not seen a single one yet that served reconciliation or justice.
“Unfortunately, international courts, and very often the court at the level of BiH, worked in keeping with a pattern. We mostly had political decisions, namely, a political framework was made which was then filled with final court rulings,” Cvijanovic said.
She said that the result is a huge mistrust in the judiciary and the situation where there is no reconciliation or cohesion in BiH, which should have been the priority goal of the establishment of such courts.
Cvijanovic said that the 2003 Criminal Code was applied in BiH for many years for crimes committed during the war and that it pertained mostly to Serbian perpetrators, and when it comes to perpetrators from among other peoples, the SFRY Criminal Code was applied which was in force at the time of the commission of these crimes.
She said that Srpska many times pointed out that BiH is the only place where laws are applied retroactively, and that it took many years to reach the court in Strasbourg and for someone to say that this is not right, but that despite this, institutions at the level of BiH refused to implement solutions in keeping with the court decision.
The second-instance verdict to Radovan Karadzic is set to be pronounced on March 20 at 14:00.
The second-instance verdict will be pronounced after appeals against the first- instance verdict, by which Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in prison, filed by both the defense and the prosecution, are reviewed.
The trial of Radovan Karadzic began in October 2009. The first-instance verdict was pronounced on March 24, 2016, and it was appealed by both the defense and the prosecution.
Karadzic was arrested in Serbia on July 21, 2008, and was transferred to the ICTY on July 30.