On the topic of the final verdict in the case against Radovan Karadzic, by which the former Republika Srpska President was sentenced to life imprisonment, the spokeswoman for the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Maja Kocijančič published an official announcement. The announcement states:
The final judgement in the Karadžić case before the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) by the Appeals Chamber closes a case relating to some of the most tragic events in Europe’s recent history, involving war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Our deep sympathies are with those who lost their loved ones and those who survived.
The European Union fully respects the decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the IRMCT. We reiterate the need for full cooperation with the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, as the ICTY’s successor. The EU expects all leaders in the region to support the decisions of the international tribunals and to refrain from any statements or actions casting doubt on the independence or the impartiality of the adjudication process. Denial or revisionism contradict the most fundamental European values.
International criminal justice not only contributes to ending impunity but also to fostering broader trust and reconciliation within Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the region as a whole. The EU also supports the effective and efficient domestic processing of war crimes, to complement and follow up on the work of international tribunals.
Reconciliation requires an honest and factual assessment of the past, coming from within societies and bringing together all parties to the conflict. Education and awareness are key.