Bosnian Serb army leader Ratko Mladic sentenced to life in prison for genocide


Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb wartime army leader, was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after being found guilty of genocide. The United Nations' Yugoslav war crimes tribunal convicted Mladic, 74, of the atrocities he committed during the Bosnian war from 1992 to 1995, the Associated Press reported.

Formally known as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, a panel of three judges found Mladic guilty of commanding the forces responsible for the worst crimes of the war in the former Yugoslavia, during which 100,000 people were killed and 2.2 million were displaced. The crimes include the deadly three-year siege of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, as well as the mass murder of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 — the worst mass execution since World War II, according to AP.

He was charged with two counts of genocide and nine counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, according to CNN. The ex-general was convicted on all but one count of genocide.

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UN Genocide Decision: Serbia and Croatia
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UN Genocide Decision: Serbia and Croatia
OSIJEK, CROATIA: Zeljko 'Arkan' Raznatovic (R), commander of the Serbian volunteery units, and his son MIhailo, check their weapons before heading for a patrol on the front line in the area aournd Osijek, in Serb-held eastern Slavonia, 11 June 1995. Serb warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, known as Arkan aims a submachine gun 17 June 1995 in Osijek, a Serb-held area of Slavonia, a region in eastern Croatia, during a training session of his paramilitary group. In 1990, Arkan set up the Serbian Volunteer Guard or Tigers, highly trained and well-equipped paramilitary group known as Arkan's Tigers to defend Serb interests in Croatia and Bosnia during the break-up of the Yugoslav federation. Arkan was gunned down in Belgrade in January 2000. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)
This picture taken in November 1991 in the Croatian town of Vukovar shows Yugoslav army captain Miroslav Radic (R) listening to a report of a Serbian paramilitary. Beta news agency reported 21 April 2003 that Radic, indicted by the UN tribunal for war crimes committed in 1991 in Vukovar has surrendered to authorities in Belgrade. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Member of the ''Arkan's Tigers'', Serb para-military group' stands over the bodies of three Croatian villagers whose throats were cut on November 24, 1991 at Laslovo, 18 kilometers from Osijek, capital of the occupied eastern Croatian province of Slavonia. eeljko RaÂnatovic widely known as Arkan (April 17, 1952 - January 15, 2000), was a Serbian career criminal and later a paramilitary leader who was notable for organizing and leading a paramilitary force in the Yugoslav Wars. Arkan created a paramilitary group named the Serb Volunteer Guard under the auspices of the Yugoslav Peoples Army (JNA) general staff. Arkan was the leader of this newly founded unit, which was primarily made up of the football hooligans of his favourite club at the time, Red Star Belgrade. AFP PHOTO VINCENT AMALVY (Photo credit should read VINCENT AMALVY/AFP/Getty Images)
Serbian militia & Yugoslav Army tanks returning Croatian mortar & sniper fire, in civil war, re ethnic Serbs opposing living in independent Croatia. (Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Members of the ''Arkan's Tigers'', Serb para-military group', patrol on November 24, 1991 at Laslovo, 18 kilometers from Osijek, capital of the occupied eastern Croatian province of Slavonia. eeljko RaÂnatovic widely known as Arkan (April 17, 1952 - January 15, 2000), was a Serbian career criminal and later a paramilitary leader who was notable for organizing and leading a paramilitary force in the Yugoslav Wars. Arkan created a paramilitary group named the Serb Volunteer Guard under the auspices of the Yugoslav Peoples Army (JNA) general staff. Arkan was the leader of this newly founded unit, which was primarily made up of the football hooligans of his favourite club at the time, Red Star Belgrade. AFP PHOTO VINCENT AMALVY (Photo credit should read VINCENT AMALVY/AFP/Getty Images)
Serbian soldiers shell Croatian targets from their positions on the Obrovac heights 09 February 1993. Obrovac is 70 kms (43 miles) from Knin, the capital of the Serb-held Krajina region. (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Serbian militia & Yugoslav Army tanks returning Croatian mortar & sniper fire, in civil war, re ethnic Serbs opposing living in independent Croatia. (Photo by Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
CROATIA - CIRCA 1992: War of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Vukovar (Croatia), besieged by the Serbs, March 1992. (Photo by Francoise De Mulder/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)
Croatian soldiers display ex-Yugoslavian army hand grenades (L) anti tanks rocket (R) in an army warehouse on May 05, 1995 in Pakrac, during a battle with Serbian forces. UN cease-fire Between Croatians and Serbian forces was arranged on January 2, 1992. The UN Security Council in February approved sending a 14,000-member peace-keeping force to monitor the agreement and protect the minority Serbs in Croatia. In a 1993 referendum, the Serb-occupied portion of Croatia (Krajina) resoundingly voted for integration with Serbs in Bosnia and Serbia proper. Although the Zagreb government and representatives of Krajina signed a cease-fire in March 1994, further negotiations broke down. In a lightning-quick operation, the Croatian army retook western Slavonia in May 1995. Similarly, in August, the central Croatian region of Krajina, held by Serbs, was returned to Zagreb's control. AFP PHOTO JOEL ROBINE (Photo credit should read JOEL ROBINE/AFP/Getty Images)
Justice Ministers Orsat Miljenic (L) of Croatia and Nikola Selkovic (R) of Serbia attend on February 3, 2015 the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague in a long-running genocide case, seen as a landmark decision that could re-open old wounds between former foes Croatia and Serbia. Zagreb in 1999 dragged Belgrade before the ICJ on genocide charges relating to Croatia's war of independence that raged in 1991-95 following the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Serbia was accused of ethnic cleansing as a 'form of genocide' at the time, leading to large numbers of Croats being displaced, killed or tortured and their property being destroyed. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN - netherlands out - (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
From left: Croatians Jana Spero of the Justice Ministry, Andreja Metelko-Zgombic representing the Justice Ministry, University of Rijeka professor Vesna Crnic-Grotic and Justice Minister Orsat Miljenic sit on February 3, 2015 in the courtroom of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague as the UN's highest courtbefore started to hand down its verdict in a long-running genocide case, seen as a landmark decision that could re-open old wounds between former foes Croatia and Serbia. Zagreb in 1999 dragged Belgrade before the ICJ on genocide charges relating to Croatia's war of independence that raged in 1991-95 following the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Serbia was accused of ethnic cleansing as a 'form of genocide' at the time, leading to large numbers of Croats being displaced, killed or tortured and their property being destroyed. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN - netherlands out - (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
From left: Serbian Justice Minister Nikola Selkovic, ambassador Petar Vico and Sasa Obradovic of the delegation of Serbia sit on February 3, 2015 in the courtroom of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague as the UN's highest courtbefore started to hand down its verdict in a long-running genocide case, seen as a landmark decision that could re-open old wounds between former foes Croatia and Serbia. Zagreb in 1999 dragged Belgrade before the ICJ on genocide charges relating to Croatia's war of independence that raged in 1991-95 following the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Serbia was accused of ethnic cleansing as a 'form of genocide' at the time, leading to large numbers of Croats being displaced, killed or tortured and their property being destroyed. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN - netherlands out - (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
From left: Croatians Jana Spero of the Justice Ministry, University of Rijeka professor Vesna Crnic-Grotic and Justice Minister Orsat Miljenic sit on February 3, 2015 in the courtroom of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague as the UN's highest courtbefore started to hand down its verdict in a long-running genocide case, seen as a landmark decision that could re-open old wounds between former foes Croatia and Serbia. Zagreb in 1999 dragged Belgrade before the ICJ on genocide charges relating to Croatia's war of independence that raged in 1991-95 following the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Serbia was accused of ethnic cleansing as a 'form of genocide' at the time, leading to large numbers of Croats being displaced, killed or tortured and their property being destroyed. AFP PHOTO / ANP / ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN - netherlands out - (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
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Judge Alphons Orie, who delivered a summation of the case, ordered Mladic out of the courtroom for the final verdict after several angry outbursts. Verdict proceedings had previously been interrupted after Mladic's legal team said his blood pressure was too high to continue, CNN reported. They asked that proceedings be postponed or the summation skipped, but Orie denied the request.

"The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind," Orie said when he read out the verdict, and mothers of Srebrenica's victims applauded.

Mladic was arrested in 2011 and his trial began in The Hague, Netherlands in 2012. It lasted 530 days and included nearly 600 witnesses and almost 10,000 exhibits, according to the United Nations.

Mladic's trial is the last at the tribunal, which was established amidst the brutal fighting of the war in 1993. His political leader during his time in power, former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic was convicted in the same court, also of genocide in 2016 and sentenced to 40 years.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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