UN court upholds genocide conviction against Bosnian Serb military leader Mladic

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War crimes judges on Tuesday upheld a genocide conviction and life sentence against former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic. 

In 2017, the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia jailed Mladic for life on charges including terrorizing Sarajevo’s civilian population during the siege, and the genocide of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. Final judgment in the case is due on Tuesday.

Mladic, 78, led Bosnian Serb forces during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war. He, known as the butcher of Serbia.

He was imprisoned for life in 2017 for his role in the Srebrenica massacre, which has long been considered the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two.

To this day, the slaughter is the only instance of genocide in Europe to be recognised by two international courts. While the former commander was found guilty on 10 of 11 charges, he was acquitted of a charge of genocide in six Bosnian municipalities in 1992. He had initially been indicted in July 1995, but he went into hiding after the war came to an end. He was finally caught and arrested in 2011 after 16 years on the run.

Survivors of the 43-month siege of Sarajevo are hoping for closure when Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic receives a final verdict on Tuesday in his appeal against conviction for genocide and war crimes during the 1990s. 

“I think the judgement should not be altered because it represents the finalisation of all miseries in the years that are behind us,” said Zdravka Gvozdjar, whose son Eldin was killed in the street at the age of 9 by a Serb grenade.

“Someone must pay for all these children who were killed here,” Gvozdjar told Reuters as she stood at the Bosnian capital’s monument to the 1,600 child victims of the siege.

Reuters / Agencies / Euronews