Reuters International

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - The International Court of Justice has rejected a request from Bosnia for it to revise its ruling clearing Serbia of blame for genocide during the wars over the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, state radio reported.

The ICJ registrar revealed the court's decision in a letter sent to Bosnia's Serb, Croat and Bosniak presidency members after they each declared if they backed the request, which was filed last month, the radio quoted Croat presidency member Dragan Covic as saying.

"The court considers...that no decision has been taken by the competent authorities on behalf of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state to request the revision...therefore no action can be taken with regard to the document," the registrar said in the letter seen by Reuters.

The court' 2007 judgment exonerated Serbia of direct responsibility for killings, rapes and "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia during the wars, though it said Serbia had failed to prevent genocide.

The Muslim Bosniak member of Bosnia's three-man presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, backed the formal application last month for the ruling to be revised against the opposition from his Serb and Croat colleagues in the presidency.

Izetbegovic's move prompted an angry response from Bosnian Serbs who said it imperiled the country's post-war settlement and warned of a grave political crisis. This week Serb lawmakers abstained from voting in the national parliament.

The Bosnian Muslims have hoped that a revision could shed more light on crimes committed during the war, in which more than 100,000 people were killed. Bosnian Serbs saw the legal move as directed against them and reconciliation.

The request for the ruling's revision has also put relations with Serbia under strain.

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic, Gordana Katana and Maja Zuvela; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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