Appeals court upholds conviction of ‘Butcher of Bosnia’ Ratko Mladic

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June 8 (UPI) — A U.N. appeals court upheld the conviction of former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic Tuesday for genocide and crimes against humanity.

Mladic, nicknamed the “Butcher of Bosnia” during the notorious Bosnian War, was sentenced to life in prison in 2017 by a U.N. tribunal for mass executions carried out during the 1990s. Mladic was chief of staff for Bosnian Serb forces from 1992 until 1996.

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United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals said it dismissed Mladic’s appeal “in relation to the hostage-taking [joint criminal enterprise] and dismissed his appeal in relation to the Overarching JCE, the Sarajevo JCE, the Srebrenica JCE, as well as arguments related to his fair trial rights.”

The court said it also affirmed Mladic’s convictions for genocide, persecution, extermination, murder, deportation and “other inhumane acts” as crimes against humanity.

The White House issued a statement praising the decision.

“This historic judgment shows that those who commit horrific crimes will be held accountable,” the White House said. “It also reinforces our shared resolve to preventing future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world. The United States helped lead the international effort to end the atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to bring to justice those who committed crimes there and in other parts of the former Yugoslavia, and to establish a lasting peace to that country and the broader region.”

The brutal Bosnian War, which occurred during the breakup of Yugoslavia, happened in the Bosnia and Herzegovina region.