Ratko Mladic guilty in Bosnia genocide

Former Bosnian Serb Army commander Ratko Mladi? was sentenced to life imprisonment Nov. 22 by the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), for crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict from 1992 to 1996. Mladi? was found guilty of two counts of genocide, crimes against humanity (five counts: persecutions; extermination; murder; deportation; and inhuman acts), and violations of the laws or customs of war (four counts: murder; terror; unlawful attacks on civilians; and taking of hostages).

The summary of the judgment reads:

In determining the appropriate sentence to be imposed, the Chamber has taken into account the gravity of the crimes of which Mr. Mladi? has been found guilty. The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity.

Mladi?'s sentencing marks the finale in a case spanning nearly two decades, beginning with his arrest warrant in 1996, followed by his 2011 arrest, the opening of his trial in May 2012, followed by several postponements over procedural issues. In December 2016, closing arguments were held, and prosecutors urged the judges to impose a life sentence.

From Jurist, Nov. 22. Used with permission.

  1. Ratko Mladic: an asshole to the end

    The Guardian notes that Ratko "Butcher of Bosnia" Mladic delayed reading of the verdicts for more than half an hour when he asked the judges for a bathroom break. After he returned, defense lawyers requested that proceedings be halted or shortened because of his high blood pressure. The judges denied the request. Mladic then stood up, shouting "this is all lies" and "I'll fuck your mother." He was forcibly removed from the courtroom, and the verdicts were read in his absence.

    Mladic's genocide convictions mostly concerned the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre. He was acquitted of only one charge, that of genocide at municipalities outside Srebrenica. The chamber ruled that although he was part of a joint criminal enterprise to carry out mass killings there, which represented crimes against humanity, they did not rise to the level of genocide because the victims did not constitute a substantial proportion of the Bosnian Muslim population of those municipalities. When viewed in the context of what happened in those same days at Srebrenica itself, this strikes us as legalistic hair-splitting. 

    But this is still a victory for the survivors, however delayed and bitter. Bashar Assad, take note…

  2. ICTY marks official closing

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Dec. 21 marked its official closure with with a ceremony held in the Hague. The event marked the end of the ICTY's 24 year tenure trying those most responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the laws of war and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed within the territory of the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s.

    Since its inception, the ICTY indicted 161 people, of which 90 were found guilty and sentenced and 19 acquitted. Over roughly 10,800 days of trial, the court heard from 4,650 witnesses and generated 2.5 million pages of transcripts. The cases against two prominent defendants, Radovan Karadžić and Vojislav Šešelj are currently on appeal before the residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. (Jurist)

  3. Ratko Mladić appeals war crimes conviction

    Former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladić on March 22 appealed his conviction to the UN Mechanism for International Tribunals. The defense cited time constraints they say left them unable to review the record or conduct adequate investigations. Defense also stated that Mladić was not in an adequate mental condition, as they say was confirmed by neurologists during the trial. (Jurist)

  4. Former Bosnian Serb official sentenced for war crimes

    The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday found former Bosnian Serb senior official Jovan Tintor guilty of crimes against civilians and sentenced him to 11 years in prison. Tintor was indicted by the court in 2016 on counts of crimes against humanity under Bosnian law. The indictment alleged that Tintor played a role in attacks against Croat and Muslim populations in the territory of VogošÄ‡a Municipality in June 1992. It was alleged that Tintor had knowledge of and aided in acts of imprisonment, deprivation of physical liberty, forced relocation, murders, torture and enforced disappearance.

    Tintor pleaded not guilty to charges. The court found him guilty on some of the charges while acquitting him of others. (Jurist)

  5. UN court hears oral arguments in Ratko Mladić appeal

    The Appeals Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) heard oral arguments this week in the appeal of former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladić. Mladić is appealing his 2017 conviction and life sentence for genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws or customs of war in the Bosnian war. (Jurist)