ICJ Ruling Will Be Appealed, Says Bosniak Leader

Appeal against the 2007 International Court of Justice ruling in the genocide case against Serbia will be launched, the Bosniak member of the national presidency said. Bakir Izetbegovic, also the leader of main Bosniak party SDA, told reporters after a meeting with mostly Bosniak experts in Sarajevo that new evidence had emerged that could revise the original ruling, which acquitted Serbia of direct guilt for genocide committed during the Bosnian war of the nineties.

The announcement was met with criticism from Serb and Croat politicians.

“In addition to the fact that the announced appeal to the ruling is false, because it it not launched by BiH but by one group or parts of a group only, it is also unacceptable morally and in any other way. There was no evidence against Serbia ten years ago, and there is no evidence today, for a simple reason: Serbia did not do what Muslims in BiH are trying to imply,” said Milorad Dodik, the Republika Srpska entity president.

“Bakir Izetbegovic will remember this day, 17 February, but not because of the decision he made. He will remember it because it is the beginning of the end of his political career. I and the SDS will do everything to take Bakir Izetbegovic down. And when he is down, we will take Milorad Dodik and his failed policy in the RS down,” said Vukota Govedarica, the leader of main Bosnian Serb opposition party, SDS.

“(The announcement of the appeal) is not good for the institutional balance and the relations (between the main ethnic groups), which we have been building with hard work in recent years. The future of this country depends on the quality of internal relationships (between the groups) that we build, and they can not be improved like this,” said Dragan Covic, the Croat member in the national presidency and the leader of main Bosnian Croat party, HDZ.

“There will be a crisis, but not as severe as we are threatened, because severe crises occur when people’s rights are trampled. This appeal will not take away anyone’s rights. This right (to appeal) is an undisputed right of the victims,” said Izetbegovic.

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