UN Judge Supports Serbian Army Commander Ratko Mladic Convict

The Hague, Netherlands-On Tuesday, a judge from the United Nations Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of former Serbian Army commander Ratko Mladic for genocide and other crimes during the Bosnian Civil War between 1992 and 1995. The life imprisonment was confirmed.

The ruling means that a 79-year-old former general who terrorized Bosnia during the war will spend the rest of his life in prison. He is the last major figure to face justice in a conflict that ended more than a quarter of a century ago.

Zambia’s Judge Prisca Matimba Nyanbe said the court had “completely” dismissed Mladic’s appeal and sentenced him to life imprisonment. It also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against Mladic’s acquittal for another genocide charge related to the early-war ethnic purge.

The Epoch Times
Djulija Jusic, who lost his two sons and 33 relatives in the Srebrenica massacre on Friday, May 28, 2021, sees his name at the Potočari Memorial Cemetery near Srebrenica in Bosnia. (Eldar Emric / AP Photo)

Mladic was sentenced to life imprisonment as the mastermind of the bloodshed of the Bosnian War, which killed more than 100,000 people and caused millions of homeless people, and joined former Bosnian President Radovan Karadži.

Formerly known as the “Bosnian Butcher”, Mladic, a powerful military force, appeared bright and cheerful when he entered the courtroom and sat down imitating a photographer, but the ruling was read. He frowned, and when he heard that the appeal was dismissed, he was denied the whole emotional expression.

Mladic commanded a variety of atrocities, from the “ethnic cleansing” campaign to the siege of Sarajevo to the bloody climax of the war in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Currently, he is a frail old man, and his poor health delays this final decision.

The Epoch Times
Bida Osmanovich, who lost his son and mother in the Srebrenica massacre, prays at the Potočari cemetery near Srebrenica in Bosnia on Friday, May 28, 2021. (Elder Emric / AP photo)

His toxic heritage continues to divide Bosnia, and his dark shadows extend far beyond the Balkan Peninsula.

For the Serbs of Bosnia, he is a war hero who fought to protect the people.

“We can’t accept any verdict,” Serbian veteran Millige Radvic, who lives in the town of Foka in eastern Bosnia, told The Associated Press. “To me he is an icon, and to Serbs he is an icon.”

For the Bosniaks, mainly Muslims, he has always been a villain responsible for the terrible suffering and loss during the war.

Mladic was first charged in July 1995. After the war in Bosnia, he hid himself and was finally arrested in 2011 and handed over to the former Yugoslav International Criminal Court by the then pro-Western Serbian government.

The Epoch Times
A woman crouching in the tomb of a victim of the Srebrenica massacre at the Potočari Cemetery near Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. (Darko Bandic / AP Photo)

The ruling was welcomed as “an important confirmation of the rule of law” by Kathryne Bomberger, Executive Director of the International Commission on Missing Persons who helped identify victims of atrocities in Bosnia.

“An important chapter in the history of international justice and the history of the Western Balkan conflict has closed today,” Bomberger said. “The amendments to the rulings in the case of Mladic and in earlier cases such as Radovan Karadži are beyond the Western Balkans. This is the survival of atrocities involving missing and missing families around the world. Gives the hope that justice will be delivered. “

The shadows of Mladic and Karadži extend far beyond the Balkan Peninsula. They have also been respected by foreign far-right supporters in a bloody campaign against the wartime Bosniaks.

Australians who shot and killed dozens of Muslim followers in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019 were Serbian leaders in Bosnia during the war and Norwegian white supremacists who shot and killed 77 in Norway in 2011. It is believed to have been inspired by the Norwegian Annesh Breivik.

Since then, UN courts have been closed. Mr Mladic’s appeal and other legal issues left in court were dealt with by the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunal. This mechanism is in the same building as the now non-functional court in former Yugoslavia.

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