Radovan Karadzic: Psychiatrist-Poet Who Led Bosnian Serbs to War

However he was acquitted of committing genocide in several other Bosnian municipalities in 1992.

Karadzic appealed against the verdict, insisting that there was "no evidence for the accusations concerning the intention to implement ethnic cleansing".

He also insisted that "very few civilians" were killed during the siege of Sarajevo. "Serbs were just defending themselves, while Muslims provoked incidents and accused Serbs in order to have international forces intervene," he claimed.

The prosecution filed its own appeal, calling for Karadzic to be jailed for life.

Since the first-instance verdict, Karadzic, who is now 73, has complained to the Hague Tribunal several times about his health, and also repeatedly petitioned the court to allow him to use Skype in his cell.

There was also controversy when the presiding judge in the trial, Theodor Meron, voluntarily withdrew from the appeals procedure last September after the defence asked the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals to remove him for alleged bias against Karadzic.

The defence argued that judge Meron had delivered conclusions at previous trials held in The Hague that were related to Karadzic and crimes committed in Srebrenica, Sarajevo and other municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina which indicated he was biased against the former Bosnian Serb political leader.

'A good neighbour'

Karadzic's home village, Petnica in Montenegro. Photo: BIRN

Karadzic spent his childhood in Montenegro, going to school in the town of Niksic, before moving to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo to study at its medical high school. He continued his studies at Sarajevo Medical University and went on to specialise in psychiatry at the city's Kosevo hospital.

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