Former Bosnian-Serb Army Commander, General Ratko Mladic, is facing 11 charges, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the trial that starts Wednesday at a United Nations tribunal in The Hague.
The 70-year-old former commander, referred to by his critics as the "butcher of Bosnia," is accused of ordering the massacre of about 8,000 men and boys outside the Bosnian city of Srebrenica and the bloody siege of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the early 1990s.
The Srebrenica massacre took place in 1995, when thousands of civilians had gathered in an area designated by the United Nations as a safe haven. Disregarding the U.N. designation, Bosnian Serb troops rounded up as many as 8,000 men and boys and slaughtered them over several days. Mass graves were later found in the surrounding area.
He was arrested in Serbia in May of last year after being a fugitive for 16 years. Experts say Mladic must have had support among the Serb military and secret services to avoid arrest for so many years.
The U.N. tribunal indicted him in 1995 along with his former ally, Bosnia's wartime political leader Radovan Karadzic.