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Ratko Mladic Receives Life in Prison over Genocide Charges

Hague court found that Bosnian Serbian former commander "significantly contributed" to the genocide in Srebrenica, and was also guilty of war crimes, and crimes against humanity. 

22 November 2017

The trial of Ratko Mladic (pictured) at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has come to an end, with a sentence of life in prison for genocide, the BBC writes.


The charges, which Mladic denies and allegedly plans to appeal, were related to his time as military commander of Bosnian Serb forces against Bosnian Croat and Bosniak armies between 1992 and 1995, during the Yugoslav wars. ICTY found that Mladic “significantly contributed” to the massacre of 8,000 Bosniak boys and men in Srebrenica, and that he “carried out and personally oversaw a deadly campaign of sniping and shelling in Sarajevo,” Al Jazeera reports.


"The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind," said ICTY judge Alphons Orie.


Param-Preet Singh, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch, said “more than two decades after his indictment, Ratko Mladic is finally facing the consequences of his gruesome crimes. The Mladic verdict should send a message to those in power around the world who are committing brutal atrocities, whether in Burma, North Korea, or Syria, that justice can find those who seem untouchable.”



  • “Although Mladic was indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity by the ICTY in July 1995, some four months before the Dayton peace accords, no serious effort to have him captured or even removed from his command was undertaken for years,” TOL contributor Dejan Anastasijevic wrote in 2006. Mladic went on the run in 1995 after being indicted, and was apprehended in 2011, in a northern Serbian village, NPR writes.

  • The International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has handed down guilty sentences to 14 individuals, out of 20 indicted, for participating in the Srebrenica massacres, as of 2015. One person was acquitted.

  • The highest profile trial at the ICTY concluded in March 2016 with the conviction of Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan Karadzic. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison for genocide and war crimes.

  • The 44-month siege of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, by Bosnian Serb forces was the longest siege in modern history. The devastating assault crippled the city and resulted in the death of nearly 15,000 civilians.

Compiled by Ioana Caloianu

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