Bosnia – Karadzic’s ex-right-hand man dies of coronavirus

Momcilo Krajisnik, considered a close collaborator of the Bosnian Serb political leader during the conflict of the 1990s, was released in 2013.

Momcilo Krajisnik during his trial in The Hague in 2006.

AFP

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Momcilo Krajisnik, a former political leader of the Bosnian Serbs convicted of war crimes by international justice, died of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, a hospital source said.

Considered one of the closest collaborators of Radovan Karadzic, the political leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the conflict of the 1990s, Momcilo Krajisnik died in the morning in a hospital in Banja Luka (north), the establishment announced in a press release, quoted by the public channel RTRS.

Momcilo Krajisnik, who was 75, was the Speaker of the Bosnian Serb Parliament during the Bosnian inter-communal war (1992-95).

He was admitted to hospital at the end of August due to his worsening state of health after contracting the new coronavirus.

27 years in prison

Arrested in April 2000 in Pale, near Sarajevo, stronghold of the Bosnian Serbs during the war, Momcilo Krajisnik was sentenced at first instance in 2006 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to 27 years in prison for war crimes and acquitted of genocide.

This sentence was reduced to 20 years on appeal in March 2009. He was ultimately found guilty of “expulsion, forcible transfer and persecution of non-Bosnian Serb civilians”.

He was released in 2013 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

The Bosnian conflict has left some 100,000 dead and 2.2 million displaced.

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