In Brief

Radovan Karadzic found guilty of genocide

'Beast of Bosnia' sentenced to 40 years for Srebrenica massacre, in which 8,000 men and boys died

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has been found guilty of genocide and war crimes related to the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict.

The so-called "Beast of Bosnia" has been jailed for 40 years by a United Nations tribunal for his central role in the worst atrocities in Europe since the Second World War.

Karadzic, 70, was found guilty of orchestrating the massacre of nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica

He was also convicted of organising the siege of Sarajevo, during which nearly 12,000 people died in the sniping and shelling of the Bosnian capital by Bosnian Serb forces.

He was cleared of one charge related to killings in a number of Bosnian municipalities.

Standing as his own defence lawyer, Karadzic denied the charges and described himself as a "true friend to Muslims" who should be "rewarded" for all the "good" things he had done.

"The only crime I should be put on trial for is political stupidity and excessive trust in the Muslims," he said.

He is the most high-ranking political figure to face judgment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

The case has been likened to the post-war Nuremberg trials of former Nazi leaders, says the New York Times.

More than 100,000 people died during the conflict while Karadzic was commander-in-chief of Serb forces.

After the war, he went on the run for more than decade before being arrested on a bus in Belgrade in 2008, disguised in a thick beard and glasses and posing as a doctor of alternative medicine.

Richard Holbrooke, who negotiated the Dayton Accords, which ended the conflict, described Karadzic as "a true architect of mass murder".

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, hailed today's verdict as "hugely significant".

The trial "should give pause to leaders across Europe and elsewhere who seek to exploit nationalist sentiments and scapegoat minorities for broader social ills", he added.

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