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Karadzic Files New Appeal Against UN Court's Life Sentence

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is seen at the court of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague on March 20.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has filed a new appeal against a UN court's move to increase his prison sentence for war crimes, according to court documents.

"President Radovan Karadzic hereby appeals...the life sentence imposed upon him," said a notice filed by his lawyer and released by the court in The Hague on March 28.

On March 20, the court ruled against the 73-year-old Karadzic's appeals against his convictions of genocide and war crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the 1990s. It also extended his 40-year sentence to life in prison.

The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo at the time welcomed the verdict, saying that it "represents an important step toward holding to account those individuals responsible for the tremendous suffering of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while providing some sense of justice and closure to victims and their families."

The ruling was handed down by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, a UN court that is dealing with cases left over from the now-defunct trial court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The judges will now have to decide whether to admit his appeal. Decisions by the appeals court of the UN tribunal are usually final and decisive.

But Karadzic's lawyers in the filing said that "Karadzic's appeal may be distinguishable, since he seeks to appeal only his sentence."

The original case centered on Karadzic's role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, his orchestration of a nearly four-year siege of Sarajevo, and war crimes committed in 20 Bosnian municipalities for which Karadzic was convicted in 2016.

Based on reporting by AFP and Balkan Insight