The Hague, Jun 8 (EFE).- A United Nations court on Tuesday upheld the life sentence for former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Bosnian War.
In a historic 2017 trial, Mladic was convicted of genocide for his role in overseeing the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which some 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were killed by troops under his command.
Judges at the Appeals Chamber of International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague on Tuesday dismissed all of the defense’s arguments, which had asked for acquittal, a reduced sentence or a retrial.
Mladic, known as the Butcher of Bosnia, shook his head in disapproval as the session opened, and held his head down when the court ratified his sentence, which is now final and cannot be appealed.
According to the defense, Mladic was convicted for a series of crimes that took place in the Bosnian War, such as bombings and sniper attacks, which had no reason to be linked with the defendant’s role as a military leader.
The renewed sentence concluded that the defense was unable to provide evidence to invalidate his first conviction from November 2017.
The justices also rejected a request by the prosecution to convict Mladic on additional genocide charges for a military campaign carried out between 1992 and 1995 in five Bosnian localities seeking to expel non Serbs.
During the initial trial, Mladic, now 78, was found guilty on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to his involvement in the Bosnian War, including genocide, persecution, extermination, murder, terror, deportation, forcible transfer of people, unlawful attacks on civilians and the taking of hostages.
Outside the courtroom Tuesday, minutes before the final sentence was read aloud, a man attempted to display signs in support of Mladic, prompting a verbal dispute with a representative of the victims.
He is still regarded as a war hero to many in Serbia.
Mladic was arrested in 2011 and has lived since then in a UN detention unit in The Hague. Where he will carry out his sentence is still not known. EFE