UN court confirms Ratko Mladić convictions, life sentence

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The Appeals Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) has confirmed Ratko Mladić’s convictions and life imprisonment sentence by a Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Mladić, commander of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army from May 12, 1992, until at least November 8, 1996, was convicted of 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws and customs of war by ICTY’s Trial Chamber I in 2017.

The ICTY sentenced a total of 90 individuals during its mandate, which ended in 2017, and the IRMCT has since been carrying out its remaining work.

Mladić, as well as the prosecution, appealed in 2018.

The appeals were dismissed in their entirety, with Presiding Judge Prisca Matimba Nyambe dissenting on both the convictions and sentence.

The Appeals Chamber, with the exception of Nyambe, confirmed the Trial Chamber’s ruling, finding Mladić guilty of commanding “violent ethnic cleansing campaigns” across the country and sniping and shelling attacks against the civilian population of Sarajevo between May 1992 and November 1995, committing genocide against an estimated 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica between July and at least October 1995 using the forces under his command, and using UN peacekeepers as human shields after taking them hostage from May to June 1995.

The Trial Chamber had convicted Mladić for his “leading and grave role” in the commission of these crimes.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu welcomed the verdict.

Mladić will remain in custody of the IRMCT until transferred to another country to serve his sentence.

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