UN Court Hears Ratko Mladic of Srebrenica Massacre Case on Appeal

Ratko Mladic, former Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s military commander appealed against his life sentence. He had earlier been convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violation of laws and customs of war.

Background 

The judgment was rendered on 22 November 2017 by the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The chamber convicted him and awarded a life sentence. Mladic was convicted of genocide for leading and playing a grave role in these crimes. The four joint enterprises are the permanent removal of Bosnian Muslims and Croats from the Serb claimed territory, to spread terror among civilians by perpetrating inhumane acts such as selling and shipping, Elimination of the men and boys by killing and also capturing the United Nations personnel. The Appeals Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) heard appeals.

The Srebrenica Massacre 

In July 1995 thousands of Bosnian Muslims were slain in cold blood, perpetrated by the Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica. In addition to the killings of young boys and men, there was a process of ethnic cleansing that took place by expelling over 20,000 civilians from the area. This widened the Bosnian Conflict for the coming years and resulted in irreconcilable political scenarios. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was established to scrutinize the conduct of the military. The responsibility for the genocide was put on the senior officers of the Serb army. 

Hearing 

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Mladic requested the appeal chamber for an appeal on the claim that he did not receive a fair trial. His prayer consisted of a reduction of the sentence and order of a retrial. He claimed that the Trial Chamber has erred in law and fact. The prosecution appealed to the chamber that Mladic should be convicted for genocide, the genocide against the Bosniaks and the Croats during the Bosnian War. 

Judgment 

Judge Ibanda-Nahamya was present in the courtroom in person, while Judges Nyambe, N’gum, Kam, and Panton participated through video conferencing. The judges are expected to deliver their ruling in early 2021. 


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