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Momčilo Krajišnik : biography

20 January 1945 -

Momčilo Krajišnik (Cyrillic: Момчило Крајишник) (born 20 January 1945) is a Bosnian Serb former politician convicted of murder and other crimes against humanity during the Bosnian War.

He co-founded the Bosnian Serb nationalist Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) with Radovan Karadžić Retrieved 26 July 2010 and between 1990 and 1992, he was the speaker of the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska and, between June and December 1992, a member of the expanded Presidency of the Bosnian Serb Republic.

After the Bosnian War, he became the Serb representative on the three-member Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1996 through 1998. He lost his bid for re-election in 1998 to Živko Radišić. In 2006, he was found guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the Bosnian War by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and is currently in prison serving a 20 years sentence.


In 2009, Krajišnik was transferred to the United Kingdom, to serve his sentence at Belmarsh in England. In 2010, after a single year in prison, he filed a request for early release, which was rejected. In 2011 a further request for early release was made - according to Krajišnik's brother Mirko in response to a British government initiative. Mirko Krajišnik said that the ICTY had received a proposal from the UK Ministry of Justice that Momčilo Krajišnik, as a person serving a sentence in the UK, should apply for premature release based on the fact that he had served half his sentence. Krajišnik has been in prison first at The Hague and then in the UK since 3 April 2000. The ICTY reportedly informed Krajišnik that it had received the request and invited him to apply, which he did, explaining that the court's findings had been incorrect and he was not responsible for the crimes of which he had been found guilty., accessed 17 June 2011

Conviction by the ICTY

On 27 September 2006, Krajišnik was convicted of the following crimes against humanity: extermination, murder, persecution, deportation, and forced transfer. He was acquitted of the charges of murder as a war crime, genocide, and complicity in genocide. He was sentenced to 27 years imprisonment.

The Judges found that Krajišnik had been part of a joint criminal enterprise which carried out the extermination, murder, persecution and deportation of non-Serbs during the Bosnian war between 1992 and 1995.

Judge Judge Alphons Orie observed that "Krajisnik's role in the commission of the crimes was crucial ... His positions within the Bosnian Serb leadership gave him the authority to facilitate the military, police and paramilitary groups to implement the objective of the joint criminal enterprise." He also noted that "Mr Krajisnik... accepted that a heavy price of suffering, death and destruction was necessary to achieve Serb domination."

Krajišnik was acquitted of genocide or complicity in genocide on the grounds that the court had found no evidence of a genocidal intent on his part to destroy in full or part ethnic or religious communities.

This decision was greeted with anger by representatives of victims of crimes of which Krajišnik had been found guilty, who found his acquittal on the charge of genocide difficult to accept. Bakira Hasečić of the "Association of Women Victims of War", an organisation that campaigns for prosecution of those responsible for the use of rape as a weapon of war that was a feature of the ethnic cleansing campaign, commented that "The sentence is a major blow to justice. It is an insult for the victims."

On 17 March 2009 the charges of murder and extermination were dropped and the sentence was reduced to 20 years.

While the ICTY judges found that there was evidence that crimes committed in Bosnia constituted the criminal act of genocide (actus reus), they did not establish that the accused possessed genocidal intent, or was part of a criminal enterprise that had such an intent (mens rea).

According to Edina Becirevic, both Krajišnik and Radovan Karadžić were warned by Bosnian Serb military commander General Ratko Mladić, also indicted on genocide charges, that their "plans" could not be committed without committing genocide:

Indictment by the ICTY and Arrest

Krajišnik was indicted by the ICTY on various charges of crimes against humanity (namely extermination, murder, persecution, deportation, and forced transfer), murder as a war crime, and genocide in relation to acts committed in 1992 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was arrested on 3 April 2000 at Pale by French commandos of SFOR.

Participation in the Dayton negotiations

Krajišnik took part in the negotiations leading to the Dayton agreements. He earned the nickname "Mr. No" for his uncompromising stance during negotiations.

About that period, Richard Holbrooke noted in his memoirs:

Political developments in Bosnia leading to the war

On 15 October 1991, the Bosnia-Herzegovina Assembly passed a resolution on the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There was strong opposition from Serb deputies and ten days later, the SDS formed a Bosnian-Serb Assembly, with Momčilo Krajišnik as president. The Bosnian-Serb Assembly began establishing parallel government structures. ICTY Case Information Sheet for Momčilo Krajišnik, Case IT-00-39. Retrieved 26 July 2010

Living octopus

Living octopus

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