Feature

Karadzic and the speed of international justice

Will a trial at The Hague bring closure?

The wheels of international justice turn slowly, said Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. envoy in the Balkans, in The Washington Post. "Inexcusably" slowly at times. But the arrest of Radovan Karadzic—by his fellow Serbs no less—proved that war crimes tribunals aren't just for show.

Tell that to the victims of atrocities in Bosnia, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. They had to watch as former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic's case dragged on for two years, until he died of a heart attack in his cell at The Hague. Justice would be swifter if these men were tried in Bosnia, "where the crimes took place."

Karadzic's chances of receiving a fair trial "look remote," said Neil Clark in The First Post. The West is all over crimes committed by Serbs, but doesn't seem concerned about cases where Serbs were the victims, sometimes at the hands of NATO forces. "'Justice' selectively applied to only one party in a conflict is only likely to increase Serbia's sense of victomhood—and prevent long-term reconciliation."

The process isn't perfect, said The New York Times in an editorial. But Karadzic's capture "should serve as a warning to other leaders who incite and abet genocide and believe they can rely on their neighbors complicity and the world's inattention to escape justice."

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