Ratko Mladic – the ‘Butcher of Bosnia’ – has been sentenced to life in prison for genocide against 8000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.
Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military general known as the “Butcher of Bosnia,” has been found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Mladic has been sentenced to life in prison.
Mladic was found guilty of commanding forces responsible for crimes including the worst atrocities since the Nazis. The crimes were committed during Bosnia’s devastating 1992-95 war.
It was a deadly three-year siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. In 1995, 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica were massacred. This was Europe’s worst mass killing since World War II.
The United Nations’ Yugoslav war crimes tribunal convicted the 74-year-old of 10 of 11 counts during the war.
Mladic will appeal against his convictions, his defence lawyer has said.
Presiding Judge Alphons Orie read out the judgment after ordering Mladic out of the courtroom over an angry outburst.
“The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind, and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity,” the judge said.
The mothers of Srebrenica’s victims clapped when the convictions were read out. Mladic’s son, Darko, said: “I’m not surprised. The court was totally biased from the start”.
Despite his ailing health, Mladic looked relaxed, greeting lawyers and giving a thumbs-up to photographers in court. He nodded regularly as the judge read out descriptions of atrocities by Bosnian Serb forces, one by one.
When Mladic’s lawyer asked for a delay because the general was suffering high blood pressure, the judge refused. Mladic burst out with criticism and was ordered to leave the room.
Prosecutors wanted a life sentence, while Mladic’s defense lawyers said he should be acquitted on all counts.
The long-awaited judgement marks the end of the final trial at the tribunal, which was set up in 1993, while fierce fighting was still raging in Bosnia.