Karadžić “regrets loss of lives, not own role”

THE HAGUE, Holland

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić said on Tuesday that he did not regret his role in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and that his conscience was clear.

Karadžić, who is being tried on war crimes and genocide charges by the UN tribunal in The Hague, added that he did regret all the lives lost during the 1992-1995 war.

“I do not regret my own role, I did not seek out public office, but when I received it, I did my duty in the best interest of the people who are in my heart,” Karadžić stressed in an interview with Reuters.

He stressed that he felt “the most pride for performing the office of (RS) president without any interest in personal gain”, adding that he will continue to feel free regardless of where he spends the rest of his life.

Karadžić said he regretted the loss of numerous lives and the suffering of people from all entities, the dissolution of families and destruction of property during the war. He, however, stressed that this had not been of the Serb side’s choosing.

The former leader of the Bosnian Serbs said that during the 12 years that he had spent in hiding, he had had no protection from anyone in Serbia, and that he believed that Ratko Mladić, the last Hague fugitive, was also not being helped by anyone in Serbia.

He declined to say what his job as a “guru” had been and whom he saw during his years of hiding in Belgrade, answering only that he had not been politically active since 1995.

Karadžić said that he “had no dreams of independence” for Bosnia’s Serb entity (RS) and that he believed that there were no obstacles to the co-existence of two diverse ethnic entities like in Belgium, Switzerland or Spain.

Karadžić also said that the future itself would be the judge of his contribution to history, as he himself cannot be its judge.

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