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Thursday, 2 August, 2001, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
Srebrenica judgement: Excerpts
General Radislav Krstic in court
General Radislav Krstic pleaded not guilty to all charges
The following are excerpts from the judgement at the trial of former Bosnian Serb general Radislav Krstic, found guilty of genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and jailed for 46 years.

The judgement - broadcast live on television - was read to Krstic by Judge Almiro Rodrigues at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Srebrenica is a name that immediately calls to mind thousands of people subjected to siege... Men separated from their families, stripped of belongings, men fleeing, taken prisoner, men never to be seen again...

The trial chamber concludes that for legal reasons... there was no expulsion. However, there was a forced transfer of women, children and old people from Srebrenica. Men were systematically separated, forced to leave behind belongings...

In all, 7,000 to 8,000 men were captured and almost all were killed by the Serb forces. Only a few survived, some of whom came to testify and described the horror of mass executions which they miraculously escaped. They began on 13 July...

Fifty metal ties were found, some still wrapped around victims' wrists. The Serb forces indulged in a real killing spree...

The next day Serb forces called out to any survivors. Some who responded were forced to sing Serb songs and were then executed. Traces of hair, blood and human tissue were found...


The trial chamber is not suggesting that a plan to commit genocide existed prior to the attack on Srebrenica, or even right before the city fell.

Judge Almiro Rodrigues
Judge Almiro Rodrigues: "What was ethnic cleansing became genocide"
However... a plan of genocide need not have been formed.

Nor is it indispensable that, should such a plan exist, some time must pass between its conception and its implementation.

What we are asserting here... is that a decision was first taken to carry out ethnic cleansing of the Srebrenica enclave...

However, for reasons the trial chamber was unable to clarify, the decision was then taken to kill all the men of fighting age. The result was inevitable - the destruction of the Bosnian Muslim population in Srebrenica... What was ethnic cleansing became genocide...


You were in Potocari giving an interview when the first buses arrived, there when they began separating men from women... You could not not have seen their physical condition, you could not not have heard the screams...

The trial chamber can accept that you would not of your own accord have taken the decision to execute thousands of civilians and disarmed persons. Someone else probably decided to order the execution of all men of fighting age - the chamber is convinced of that.

Nonetheless, you are still guilty of having knowingly participated in the organised, forced transfer of women, children and old people in Srebrenica at the time of the attack...

Guilty of the murder of thousands of Bosnian Muslims between 10 and 19 July 1995 - whether these be murders committed sporadically in Potocari or murders planned in the form of mass executions.

Guilty of the incredible suffering of Bosnian Muslims, whether in Potocari, or survivors of executions.

Guilty of the persecution suffered by the Bosnian Muslims of Srebrenica...

You are therefore guilty of genocide, General Krstic.


We have taken account of the extreme gravity of the crime. Still, we also wish to show that in respect of crimes committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia there are certainly people whose individual responsibility is much greater than your own...

We consider that to associate this evil with Serbian identity would be an insult to the Serbian people and would betray the concept of civil society.

It would be just as monstrous however not to attach any name to this evil...

In July 1995 General Krstic, individually you agreed to evil. And this is why today this trial chamber convicts you and sentences you to 46 years in prison.

The BBC's Geraldine Coughlan in the Hague
"The Muslim enclave of Srebrenica was a designated UN safe haven"
See also:

02 Aug 01 | Europe
General guilty of Bosnia genocide
13 Mar 00 | Europe
Bosnia massacre trial opens
13 Mar 00 | Europe
Q and A: General Krstic on trial
14 Mar 00 | Europe
Flashback: Srebrenica 1995
13 Mar 00 | Europe
Srebrenica: A survivor's tale
16 Apr 01 | Europe
Full text of Nato statement
05 Aug 00 | Europe
Mladic blamed for Bosnia massacre
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