THE HAGUE, June 8 (FENA) – Ratko Mladić, former commander of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) and long-wanted Hague indictee, has been sentenced to life in prison for genocide in Srebrenica, persecution of Bosniaks and Croats, terrorizing Sarajevo’s civilians and taking UNPROFOR members for hostages, i.e. for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995.
The final verdict handed down against Mladić today by the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) upheld the first-instance verdict of November 22, 2017, and thus concluded the trial for the most serious crimes committed in Europe after World War II.
The Appeals Chamber dismissed all appeals filed by Mladić’s defense.
The final verdict in the case against Mladić was handed down almost 26 years after the indictment was filed against him before the Hague Tribunal (ICTY), and the court finally handed down accountability for one of the key actors in the war in which more than 100,000 people were killed and more than two million inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina were expelled from their homes.
As in the first-instance procedure, Mladić was convicted on 10 of the 11 counts in the indictment, but not for genocide in six BiH municipalities – Prijedor, Sanski Most, Ključ, Kotor Varoš, Foča and Vlasenica.
During the main trial against the former VRS Commander-in-Chief, which began on 16 May 2012, and lasted 530 days, 592 witnesses were called and about 10,000 pieces of evidence presented, and the ICTY took into account 2,000 adjudicated facts in other cases processed in that court.
After years of fleeing and hiding, Mladić was arrested in Serbia on May 26, 2011, and extradited to the ICTY, and transferred to a detention unit in Scheveningen on May 31.