Serb commander Mladic convicted of genocide
The Hague: Ratko Mladic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by a UN tribunal here.
Known as the "Butcher of Bosnia", Mladic led forces during the massacre of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) in Srebrenica and the siege of Sarajevo. The UN tribunal convicted him on 10 of the 11 charges.
The tribunal found that Mladic "significantly contributed" to the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995 where more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys were murdered, the worst atrocity in Europe after World War II, the Guardian reported. He was also deemed responsible by the chamber for inciting terror during the Siege of Sarajevo (1992-96) — where Serb troops had carried out a campaign of indiscriminate sniper fire against civilians. The death toll was more than 10,000.
"The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity," presiding judge Alphons Orie said while reading the verdict.
Orie read out many crimes committed by troops under Mladic's command including mass rapes of Bosniak women and girls, keeping Bosniak prisoners in appalling conditions — starving, thirsty and sick — and beating them, terrorising civilians in Sarajevo by shelling and sniping, deporting Bosniaks forcibly en masse and destroying Bosniaks' homes as well as mosques.