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UN to Decide Next Month on Fate of ‘Butcher of Balkans’ Mladic

  • VOA News

FILE - Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic appears in court at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague, Netherlands, June 3, 2011.

United Nations judges will decide next week on a verdict in the trial of former Bosnian Serb army leader Ratko Mladic, who is accused of war crimes stemming from the conflict in the Balkans during the 1990s.

Mladic, dubbed “the butcher of the Balkans,” is the last soldier to face war crimes charges in the court, which was set up to deal with the fallout from the Bosnian war that raged from 1992 through 1995.

Mladic has been charged with 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in leading sniper campaigns in Sarajevo and the killings of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica.

Bida Smajlovic, prays near the Memorial plaque with names of killed in Srebrenica massacre before watching the Trial in Hague Tribunal, in Potocari near Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina March 24, 2016.
Bida Smajlovic, prays near the Memorial plaque with names of killed in Srebrenica massacre before watching the Trial in Hague Tribunal, in Potocari near Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina March 24, 2016.

Prosecutors have asked the International Criminal Tribunal to sentence Mladic to life in prison. Last year, attorney Alan Tieger said anything less than a life sentence would be “an insult to the victims, living and dead, and an affront to justice.”

Mladic’s defense lawyer Dragan Ivetic has accused prosecutors of seeking to make the former general a “symbolic sacrificial lamb for the perceived guilt” of all Serbs during the war.

He called for Mladic to be acquitted on all charges.

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