UN judges rule on Ratko Mladic’s appeal against convictions


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic will hear on Tuesday whether UN judges upheld or quashed his convictions and life sentence for organizing genocide and others atrocities throughout the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Mladic, known as the “Bosnian Butcher” for leading the troops responsible for a series of deadly campaigns, including the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo, was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to life imprisonment .

The verdicts in the appeal case will virtually end the UN prosecution of war crimes that killed more than 100,000 people and left millions homeless.

Mladic was convicted of genocide for leading the 1995 massacre in the eastern enclave of Srebrenica of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys. It was the worst massacre on European soil since World War II. The widows and mothers of the victims will be in court to hear the judgment of a panel of five judges led by Zambian President Prisca Matimba Nyambe.

Mladic was also convicted of other crimes, including persecution, extermination, murder and terror. He was acquitted of a second charge of genocide linked to campaigns to drive non-Serbs out of several towns at the start of the war. Prosecutors appealed against this acquittal.

Former Mladic political leader Radovan Karadzic has also been convicted of the same crimes and is serving a life sentence.

Mladic was first indicted in July 1995. After the end of the war in Bosnia, he went into hiding and was finally arrested in 2011 and handed over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia by the pro government. -Western then in power in Serbia.

The UN tribunal has since closed its doors. Mladic’s appeal and other legal issues left by the tribunal are handled by the United Nations Residual International Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, which is located in the same building as the former tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Mladic and his legacy still divide Bosnia. Bosnians, mostly Muslims, see him as a villain and a war criminal while many Bosnian Serbs still see him as a hero.

“I cannot accept any verdict,” Serbian war veteran Milije Radovic from Foca in eastern Bosnia told The Associated Press. “For me, he’s an icon. And for the Serbian people, it is an icon.

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