Top UN court dismisses Bosnian appeal against Serbia

AP News
Posted: Mar 09, 2017 12:02 PM

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The United Nations' top court on Thursday dismissed a request by Bosnia to reconsider its 2007 ruling that cleared Serbia of blame for genocide during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

The International Court of Justice told Bosnia's tripartite presidency that it could not allow the appeal of its ruling because the request to do so was not formally endorsed by relevant state bodies.

The request was filed two weeks ago at the request of the Muslim Bosniak member of the presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic.

The Serb member, Mladen Ivanic, did not consent to the appeals request and demanded that it be dismissed as illegitimate.

Reacting to the court's decision, Izetbegovic accused it Thursday of making "a political rather than legal" decision and said he was "deeply hurt and offended." The request was dismissed on a technicality, he said.

"The court has decided to shut the door in the face of the victims denying them access to justice," he said.

Ivanic voiced satisfaction with the court's decision and said it was "expected".

Bosnia initially sued neighboring Serbia before the international court in 1993 over its backing for the Bosnian Serbs' war effort.

The UN court ruled in 2007 that a 1995 massacre in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica of 8,000 Muslims by Bosnian Serbs was genocide, but that Serbia was not responsible for the killings.