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UN tribunal confirms Mladic's life sentence for Srebrenica genocide

Almost 26 years after the Srebrenica genocide, the UN War Crimes Tribunal has confirmed the sentence of life imprisonment handed down to former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic for the Srebrenica genocide, among other crimes.

Updated Jun 09, 2021 04:00 AM

UN tribunal confirms Mladic's life sentence for Srebrenica genocide

The confirmation was in the last instance and upheld an earlier verdict, meaning Mladic has lost his final appeal against his conviction for genocide.

In the first instance, the now 78-year-old accused was sentenced to life imprisonment. Mladic, who became known as the "Butcher of the Balkans" during the 1992-95 Bosnian War, wanted to be acquitted.

Mladic, who was captured and handed over to the tribunal in 2011, remained motionless during the reading of the verdict and only shook his head from time to time. He remained silent afterwards, DPA reported.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres thanked the judges and those involved in the trial for their commitment and hard work over decades.

Chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz welcomed the verdict and told Mladic's supporters that "it's time to accept the truth."

Mladic, he said, was one of the "most notorious war criminals in modern history." However, while the verdict marks the end of the last major international Srebrenica trials, the perpetrators are still glorified, said Brammertz, calling for international condemnation.

In 2017, Mladic had been sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, including the years-long siege of Sarajevo with over 10,000 deaths, the persecution and expulsion of Bosnian Muslims and Croats and the Srebrenica genocide.

Under Mladic's leadership, Serbian troops had overrun the UN protected zone of Srebrenica in 1995 and subsequently murdered more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

The Srebrenica massacre, determined to have been genocide by the UN International Court of Justice in 2007, is regarded as the worst atrocity in Europe since the Holocaust.

Demonstrators had gathered in the square in front of the court hours before the verdict was announced. "Justice for Bosnia" was written on some placards.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the verdict was met with divided reactions.

At the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial, mainly relatives of people killed by Mladic's troops gathered for a live broadcast.

Those present listened quietly as the verdict was delivered, many with tears in their eyes, the news portal klix.ba reported.

Leading Bosnian Serb politician Milorad Dodik, on the other hand, claimed that the verdict had "nothing to do with law and justice."

He described the genocide in Srebrencia established by The Hague tribunal as a "myth" that "did not happen." Mladic had "not been proven" to have committed the crimes he was charged with, he said.

In March 2019, the ex-general's political companion, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, 75, had already been sentenced to life imprisonment on appeal - also for the Srebrenica genocide.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media