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Former Bosnian Serb leader appeals 40-year prison sentence

Former Bosnian Serb leader appeals 40-year prison sentenceThe former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has appealed his prison sentence for genocide crimes against humanity. He said that it was some sort of “a political trial” and United Nations judges made a string of mistakes when reaching the guilty verdicts.

Karadzic has lodged an appeal covering 50 grounds claiming he "was subjected to a political trial that was simply designed to confirm the demonization of him and the Bosnian Serb people" by the UN's Yugoslav war crimes court, his lawyer Peter Robinson said in a statement Friday.

The appeal argues that the errors, “violated the presumption of innocence, created an unmanageable trial, and made a fair trial impossible.”

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ruled that Karadzic, the most high-profile figure convicted over the wars that tore the former Yugoslavia apart, bore criminal responsibility for murder and persecution during the Bosnian conflict.

Nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys were butchered and their bodies dumped in mass graves at Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia in mid-July 1995, when Bosnian Serb forces brushed aside lightly armed UN Dutch peacekeepers protecting the so-called UN safe area.

The massacre was the largest bloodshed on European soil since World War II and galvanized public opinion against Serb forces fighting in Bosnia's three-way civil war that killed around 100,000 people from 1992-95.

Karadzic had been a long-time fugitive from justice until his arrest on a Belgrade bus in 2008. He always maintained his innocence and now is seeking acquittal or a new trial.
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