Ratko Mladic: a life sentence for the ‘Butcher of Bosnia’.

By Ludovica Muttini

FORMER Bosnia Serb general, Ratko Mladic was sentenced to life after he was found guilty of committing genocide and other crimes against humanity in the 1990s during the Bosnian war that have been as some of the ‘most heinous’ in human history.

Mladic was found guilty by the United Nations Yugoslav tribunal for the three-year siege of the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo and for the massacre at Srebrenica in 1995, in which more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim were killed by summary execution.

When reading out the court’s judgment the Judge Alphons Orie said: “The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind.”

It took 20 years of waiting, 15 years of him being on the run, four years of trials, three hundred witnesses and ten thousand proofs in total.

Mladic was not in court when his sentenced was read out. He has been kicked out for shouting at the judge at the precise moment when Judge Orie sentenced him.

Mladic rejected all the charges and his lawyers said they would start an appeal.

Mladic’s son Darko commented saying: “I’m not surprised, the court was totally biased from the start.

“This judgment is wrong, it does not achieve anything … and will be an obstacle to future normal life in the region,” he said.

Today it was considered as a victory for international justice by the court’s prosecutor and rights groups.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein UN Commissioner for Human Rights referred to Mladic as “the epitome of evil” and described the prosecution as “the epitome of what international justice is all about.”

He added that the verdict should serve as a warning to other perpetrators of atrocities “that they will not escape justice, no matter how powerful they may be nor how long it may take.




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