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article imageUN judges deny last-ditch Karadzic life sentence appeal

By AFP     Apr 3, 2019 in Crime

A UN war crimes tribunal Wednesday slapped down former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's challenge to an increase in his sentence for war crimes to a life term, saying its ruling was final.

Appeals judges in The Hague last month upheld Karadzic's 2016 conviction for genocide in the Srebrenica massacre and other atrocities during the Bosnian civil war in the 1990s.

They then increased his sentence from 40 years to life, saying the initial jail term had underestimated the "sheer scale and systematic cruelty" of his crimes.

Karadzic's lawyer last week filed a last-ditch attempt to overturn his client's sentencing, arguing that Karadzic's latest effort "may be distinguishable since he seeks to appeal only his sentence" -- and not the verdict.

But the tribunal's judges said "there is no legal basis... for Karadzic to appeal the appeal judgement."

Therefore, the court "dismiss(es) the appeal and the motion," the tribunal's president Carmel Agius said in a court document.

Karadzic, now 73, and his military chief Ratko Mladic were among the last suspects put on trial for Bosnia's bloody 1992-95 civil war.

Mladic, 76, dubbed the "Butcher of Bosnia", is currently appealing a life sentence on similar charges, including for the death of almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in mid-1995.

The massacre, which followed after lightly armed UN troops were overrun by Bosnian Serb forces, was the worst bloodshed on European soil since World War II.

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