UN court upheld genocide conviction against former Bosnian Serb military chief

A United Nations court upheld a genocide conviction and confirmed the life sentence against former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic for his role in Bosnia’s 1992- 95 war. This war has led to the Bosnian genocide, in which more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys massacred, the worst act in European history since Second World War.

Ratko Mladic, 79, the ‘Butcher of Bosnia,’ was convicted in 2017 on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including terrorising the civilian population of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo during a 43-month siege and the killing of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys taken prisoner in the eastern town of Srebrenica in 1995. The war considered as

The lawyers of Ratko Mladic had appealed his conviction, arguing he could not be held responsible for possible crimes committed by his subordinates. The lawyers asked for an acquittal or a retrial.

The UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague rejected the appeal and upheld the conviction. The court said that the decision was final and cannot be appealed further.

“Today, glorification and denial of genocide are very much stronger than five or ten years ago — and I have been in this job for 13 years… His name should be consigned to the list of history’s most depraved and barbarous figures,” chief tribunal prosecutor Serge Brammertz said after the verdict.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has welcomed the verdict.

“I urge Governments and elected and public officials to strive for justice for all victims and survivors of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, to assuage – rather than aggravate – the region’s open wounds, and to foster reconciliation and long-lasting peace. Only by honestly addressing the past can a country strive to create an inclusive future and build accountable institutions for all its citizens,” the UN High Commissioner said.

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