Hague tribunal confirms it's anti-Serb bias
"Krajisnik, as president of the People's Assembly of the RS from its very founding in the difficult war years [1992-1995], was first among equals," said Cavic. "Therefore, any judgements pronounced on him are judgements pronounced on the People's Assembly," Cavic added.
He said the Bosnian Serb parliament during the war did not pass "a single act which would be contrary to the norms of war humanitarian law or any part of the international law," which he claimed made Krajisnik's sentence all the more absurd.
Cavic compared Krajisnik's harsh sentence to the one passed on Muslim war commander of the eastern town of Srebrenica, Naser Oric, who was sentenced to only two years for crimes against Serb civilians and has since been released. Other Muslim and Croat military commanders have never even been tried by the UN tribunal, he pointed out.
"All this, compared with the trial against Krajisnik and the verdict pronounced, points to the political campaign which is being waged not against individuals, but in the final instance against the RS," said Cavic.
Sulejman Tihic, a Muslim member of Bosnia's three-man rotating state presidency, said the Krajisnik verdict confirmed "the RS authorities participated in a joint criminal undertaking of persecution, obliteration, murder, deportations and forcible resettlement of the non-Serb population."
"This verdict shows that RS entity was created by a criminal undertaking, aimed at changing the ethnic composition of Bosnia," Tihic stated. He and other Muslim leaders have stepped up their demands for the RS's abolition, saying it arose from genocide and ethnic cleansing.
Several Bosnian Serb generals have been sentenced by the Hague tribunal on charges of genocide for the murder of up to 8,000 Muslim civilians in Srebrenica in July 1995, after Serb forces overran the town. But Bosnian foreign minister Mladen Ivanic, a Serb, said the fact that Krajisnik was acquitted on charges of genocide, "removes any possibility of accusing the Serbian people and RS leaders of genocide."
Washington-based political analyst of Serbian origin, Obrad Kesic, told the media the timing of Krajisnik's sentencing - three days before Bosnian elections on Sunday - had been bad. Pointing out that Krajisnik was also arrested on the eve of the elections in April 2000, Kesic said his sentence would impact "on emotions" and on how people vote.
"The tribunal has once again demonstrated its bias on ethnic grounds," said Kesic, claiming it was also seeking to intervene directly in Bosnia's electoral process.
The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Wednesday sentenced Krajisnik to 27 years in jail for crimes against humanity, persecution, extermination, murder, deportation and forcible resettlement of local Muslims and Croats.
Krajisnik - considered one of the architects of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia - was acquitted, however, on charges on genocide and breaking the laws and the rules of war.