Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, 74, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Bosnian conflict. Mladic was commander of the Bosnian Serb Army Main Staff from around 1992-1996. He bears individual criminal responsibility for crimes against Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) armies in Srebrenica and during the siege of Sarajevo.
Mdladic had been on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) since 2012. The UN tribunal in The Hague convicted Mladic on 10 out of the 11 charges that were brought against him, including counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The tribunal found that Mladic “significantly contributed” to the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995, where over 7,000 Bosniaks were murdered. However he was cleared of a second count of genocide in other municipalities.
The crimes committed by troops under Mladic’s control include the mass rape of Bosniak women and girls, keeping Bosniak prisoners in appalling conditions, the terrorising of civilians in Sarajevo through shelling and sniping, the forcible deportation of Bosniaks and the destruction of their homes and mosques.
Mladic was not present in court when the sentence was delivered as he had been removed for shouting at the judges: “It’s a lie. Everything you said in this courtroom is a lie.” Mladic has denied all the charges and his lawyer stated that he would appeal.
Ratko Mladic was represented at his trial by Joe Holmes of 9 Bedford Row International.
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Image source: www.hlc-rdc.org
www.bbc.co.uk (22nd November 2017)
www.hrw.org (22nd November 2017)
www.amnesty.org.uk (22nd November 2017)