18:32 / 08.06.2021.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladić sentenced to life

Life sentence for Ratko Mladić upheld

Life sentence for Ratko Mladić upheld

Foto: Peter Dejong/Dado Ruvic / REUTERS

Bosnian Serb wartime military commander Ratko Mladić has been convicted of the most serious war crimes, including genocide, and sentenced to life in prison, ruled the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague on Tuesday.

"The Appeals Chamber upholds the sentence of life imprisonment and decides that the sentence should be carried out immediately," said Trial Chamber President Prisca Matimba Nyambe, summarizing the verdict.

The final verdict ended the trial that began in July 1995, when the Prosecutor's Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) filed the first indictment against Ratko Mladić. It was subsequently amended three times to punish him for the genocide committed in Srebrenica, but also to speed up the trial by concentrating the court only on the most serious crimes he committed personally or ordered.

After more than fifteen years on the run, Mladić was arrested in Serbia in 2011 and his trial in The Hague began in 2012, only to be sentenced to life in prison in 2017 after he was found guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide.

The verdict was appealed by both the defense and the prosecution, which demanded that Mladic be found guilty of genocide in five other municipalities: Foća, Kotor-Varoš, Prijedor, Sanski Most and Vlasenica, but the appeals chamber did not accept the request.

The "Bosnian executioner", as Mladić was described by foreign media ahead of the final verdict because of his brutality and relentless campaign of persecution and killing of non-Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including Croats, has now been finally convicted of four joint criminal enterprises, namely the 1995 Srebrenica genocide and persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts, terrorism and unlawful attacks on civilians, and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

Croatian Veterans Minister Tomo Medved commented the pending verdict earlier in the day saying: “Unfortunately I am extremely disappointed that the submission made by the Republic of Croatia was not accepted and that Mladić was not held responsible for the crimes he committed in Croatia as well. But I believe that he bears so much responsibility already that he will certainly spend the rest of his life behind bars. This still won't bring our victims back.”

Source: HRT

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