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ICJ Rejects Bosnian Request To Review Ruling That Cleared Serbia Of Genocide

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia's presidency

The International Court of Justice has turned down a request from Bosnia-Herzegovina to review a ruling it issued in 2007 that cleared Serbia of charges that it committed genocide during the 1990s.

The International Court of Justice said in a letter on March 9 that it could not review the judgment because the request for the review had not come from all three members of Bosnia's tripartite presidency.

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia's presidency, initiated the request.

Izetbegovic had said he did not see a need for all members of the tripartite presidency to put the request forward because a recommendation for the request was originally made by a lawyer representing the entire presidency.

"The court considers that the contents of these letters shows that a decision was not made by the competent body on behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state in terms of requests for revision of the judgment of February 26, 2007," the ICJ letter said.

Many officials in Bosnia argued against the review request, filed in February, saying it could spark a new political crisis in the country.

The request also prompted an angry response from Serbia and a rare joint statement from major powers -- including Russia and the United States -- urging all parties in Bosnia to pursue dialogue and avoid worsening tensions.

With reporting from Reuters and N1