Ratko Mladic of genocide over Bosnia's horrors


Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic was jailed for life by United Nations judges on Wednesday after being found guilty of crimes against humanity, including genocide.

Ex-Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic reacts in court at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague, Netherlands in this still image taken from a video released by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), November 22, 2017.

Judge Alphons Orie held that the perpetrators of crimes committed in Srebrenica meant to destroy the Muslims living there, adding that Mladic carried out and personally oversaw a deadly campaign of sniping and shelling in Sarajevo.

Mladic, 75, led forces responsible for atrocities including the siege of Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

Mladic pleaded not guilty to all 11 charges against him and is expected to appeal if convicted.

Saidin Salkic with his art
Saidin Salkic with his art

He has been charged with having committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia.

The former general has been on trial at The Hague since 2012, and was removed from court shortly before the verdict was handed down, for shouting at the judges after they refused to grant a recess on account of his high-blood pressure. "Mass executions occurred and some victims succumbed after being beaten", Orie said, outlining the facts of the case against Mladic. "Numerous perpetrators who had captured Bosnian Muslims, showed little or no respect for human life or dignity", Orie said. Munira Subasic, president of the Mothers of Srebrenica, told AFP before the verdict.

This had the objective of "permanently removing Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory", judges said. Mladic's son Darko said: "I'm not surprised".

Mladic was arrested in 2011, prior to which he was one of the world's most wanted fugitives.

But defense lawyers-who in the past few days filed a flurry of requests to have their ailing client's health assessed-have slammed his trial as "political", had called for an acquittal.

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