UN Court Upholds Genocide Charge Against Ex-Bosnian Leader Mladic
Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military leader, has lost an appeal against his convictions for masterminding genocide and other atrocities throughout Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.
Tuesday’s verdict by five judges at the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals at The Hague is final and cannot be appealed any further.
Twenty-six years after the Srebrenica massacre, the decision brings to a close the last Bosnian genocide trial before the court.
The decision to uphold the charges means the 78-year-old will continue to serve out a life sentence in prison.
Known as the “Butcher of Bosnia”, Mladic played a significant role in deadly campaigns, including the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo during the war in Bosnia.
Srebrenica, which saw more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed, remains the only episode of genocide on European soil after World War II.
Mladic was convicted in 2017 on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment.
His lawyers had appealed his conviction, arguing the former general could not be held responsible for possible crimes committed by his subordinates.
They asked for an acquittal or a retrial.
But prosecutors wanted Mladic’s conviction to be upheld, along with his life sentence.
Tuesday’s verdict was delivered by a five-judge panel led by Zambian Presiding Judge Prisca Matimba Nyambe.
Widows and mothers of victims were in court to hear the judgment.
It comes after 25 years of trials at the now-closed International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which convicted 90 people.