Bosnia-Herzegovina's Prosecutor's Office has filed a case against Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik for denial of genocide in the massacre of 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia in 1995.
According to Bosnian law, the office will conduct an investigation, after which the acting prosecutor will decide whether to file an indictment, officials said on March 6.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the UN's top judicial authority, the International Court of Justice, each recognized the killings by Bosnian Serb forces commanded by Ratko Mladic at Srebrenica late in the 1992-95 Bosnian war as genocide.
Dodik has on multiple occasions denied genocide since the-then international high representative for Bosnia, Valentin Inzko, imposed the Law on Prohibition of Genocide Denial at the end of July 2021.
"Genocide did not happen there. We all know that here in Republika Srpska," Dodik told a news conference in Banja Luka on February 21.
The following day, the U.S. ambassador to Bosnia issued a scathing condemnation of Dodik's remarks, calling such comments "reprehensible," illegal, and destabilizing.
Ambassador Michael Murphy said in a video statement that Dodik's "repeated attempts to deny the genocide at Srebrenica, as he did again yesterday, cannot change the facts and it cannot change the truth."
"Genocide took place in Srebrenica in 1995," Murphy said.
Some Serbs cite violence and injustices committed against Serbs during that and other conflicts and refuse to acknowledge Srebrenica as anything but another major tragedy in the brutal wars that followed Yugoslavia's breakup.
Dodik was declared the winner after a recount of the election on October 2 to the presidency of Republika Srpska, which along with a Bosniak and Croat Federation comprises Bosnia.
The United States has targeted Dodik with multiple rounds of sanctions over perceived destabilization efforts and alleged corruption.
Dodik has long threatened to seek Republika Srpska's independence from the rest of Bosnia, and rejects the authority of the Office of the High Representative in matters including the ban on genocide denial and glorification of war criminals.
More than 50 people have been sentenced to a combined 700 years in prison for their roles in genocide and war crimes at Srebrenica, including former Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and ex-commander Mladic.
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