The Hague: Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was convicted of genocide and nine other charges yesterday at a UN court, and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic. Pic/AFP
Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic. Pic/AFP

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal found Karadzic guilty of orchestrating Serb atrocities throughout Bosnia’s 1992-95 war that left 100,000 people dead. The UN court found Karadzic criminally responsible for genocide in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered. He was also held criminally responsible for murder, attacking civilians and terror for overseeing the deadly 44-month siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, during the war.

However, the court didn’t hold Karadzic responsible in a second genocide charge, for a campaign to drive Bosnian Muslims and Croats out of villages claimed by Serb forces.

Karadzic had faced a total of 11 charges and a maximum life sentence, but was given 40 years imprisonment.

Prosecutors had accused Karadzic of being responsible as a political leader and commander-in-chief of Serb forces in Bosnia, which are accused of the worst atrocities of the war.

The 70-year-old Karadzic had insisted he was innocent and says his wartime actions were to protect Serbs. The trial is hugely significant for the UN tribunal and the development of international law. Karadzic is the most senior Bosnian Serb leader to face prosecution at the court.