Bosnian Serb Convicted of War Crimes Dies from the Novel Coronavirus
By Jasmine Wang
Momcilo Krajisnik, a Bosnian Serb who was convicted of crimes against humanity for his involvement in the Bosnian War, died of the coronavirus on September 15th. He, along with Radovan Karadzic, founded the Bosnian Serb nationalist Serb Democratic Party. He was also the speaker of the People’s Assembly of Republika Srpska.
The Bosnian war resulted in more than 100,000 deaths. Krajisnik was an advisor to the wartime leader Karadzic, and he came up with plans to persecute and expel non-Serbs from Bosnia, as he was a Serbian nationalist.
In 2006, the judges of the United Nations tribunal for the former state of Yugoslavia found Krajisnik guilty for the deportation, persecution, murder, extermination, and forced transfer of Bosnian Muslims and Croatians. He was also sentenced to 27 years in prison. In 2009, his sentence was reduced to only 20 years because of the lack of evidence for counts of genocide. In September of 2013, he was granted early release, and he returned to Republika Srpska.
He was initially arrested in 2000 by NATO troops, spending 13 years in detention and prison. Throughout his imprisonment, he claimed his innocence, saying that he was unaware of any of the crimes that he was being accused for, yet , the prosecution argued that he had played a crucial role in the ethnic separation campaigns in multiple Bosnian townships.
He was born on January 20th, 1945, in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He met Karadzic at an energy company, where he was a finance executive. He went on to hold many high ranking political positions in the 1990s. He spent his final years in Pale, his former wartime stronghold near Sarajevo.