The ‘Butcher’ of Bosnia Ratko Mladic Found Guilty, Sentenced Life in Prison

General Ratko Mladic (centre) arrives for UN-mediated talks at Sarajevo airport, June 1993. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev
General Ratko Mladic (centre) arrives for UN-mediated talks at Sarajevo airport, June 1993. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev

Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serbian Commander has been found guilty of genocide and war crimes during the Yugoslav conflicts.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Wednesday, upon finding Mladic guilty on 10 out of eleven counts, delivered a guilty verdict sentencing to life in prison.

The presiding Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said Ratko Mladic, also known as the butcher of Bosnia, “significantly contributed” to crimes against humanity committed at Srebrenica.

Judge Alphons Orie, the presiding judge ruled that Srebrenica genocide was intended to destroy the region’s Muslims.

Delivering the verdict, Judge Alphons Orie said, “The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity.”

 

The ICTY verdict against Mladic reads, “The Accused stood trial for 11 counts of crimes allegedly committed in his capacity as the Commander of the Main Staff of the Army of the Bosnian-Serb Republic, also known as the VRS, between 12 May 1992 and 30 November 1995. The Indictment charged two counts of genocide and five counts of crimes against humanity, namely persecution, murder, extermination, deportation, and the inhumane act of forcible transfer. It also charged four counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, namely murder, acts of violence the primary purposes of which was to spread terror among the civilian population, unlawful attacks on civilians, and the taking of hostages.”

The ICTY Judgments

ICTY judgments against Mladic are as follow:

NOT GUILTY of Count 1, genocide; and

GUILTY, as a member of various joint criminal enterprises, of the following counts:

Count 2, Genocide.

Count 3, Persecution, a crime against humanity;

Count 4, Extermination, a crime against humanity;

Count 5, Murder, a crime against humanity;

Count 6, Murder, a violation of the laws or customs of war;

Count 7, Deportation, a crime against humanity;

Count 8, the inhumane act of Forcible Transfer, a crime against humanity;

Count 9, Terror, a violation of the laws or customs of war;

Count 10, Unlawful attacks on civilians, a violation of the laws or customs of war; and

Count 11, Taking of hostages, a violation of the laws or customs of war.

The guilty verdict against Mladic brought joy in Bosnia. Fikret Alić, photographed in Time Magazine as an emaciated prisoner said after the court delivered Mladivic’s guilty verdict, “Justice has won and the war criminal has been convicted.”

Meanwhile, the verdict also pointed out to the inherent division within the different groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, Mladen Ivanic, also said that the verdict showed that the Hague Tribunal is biased against Serbs, the Balkan Insight reported.

“When you look at the hundreds of years [in sentences] that Serbs have received, and compare it with the 50 years that the Hague gave for crimes against Serbs, that says enough about this court,” Ivanic told FENA news agency.


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