Mural of Ratko Mladic. Photo: Emmanuel in Europe via Bing (CC).
Mural of Ratko Mladic. Photo: Emmanuel in Europe via Bing (CC).

ICTY judgment finds Mladic guilty of genocide, war crimes and CAH; sentences him to life imprisonment: On 22 November 2017, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia convicted Ratko Mladić, former Commander of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), of 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, namely: genocide and persecution, extermination, murder, and the inhumane act of forcible transfer in the area of Srebrenica in 1995; persecution, extermination, murder, deportation and inhumane act of forcible transfer in municipalities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina; and murder, terror and unlawful attacks on civilians in Sarajevo; and of hostage-taking of UN personnel. For example, with regard to the count of genocide at Srebenica, the Chamber confirmed in delivering its Judgment that: “the prohibited acts, as set out in the legal definition of Genocide, of killing and causing serious bodily and mental harm were committed by the physical perpetrators against the Bosnian Muslims of Srebrenica. […] As explained in detail in the judgment, the Chamber found that the physical perpetrators intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, a substantial part of the protected group.” Concurrently, Mladić was acquitted of one charge of genocide in municipalities within Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. The Judgment convicts Mladić on the basis of his participation in and contribution to four joint criminal enterprises (referred to in shorthand by the ICTY as the Overarching JCE, the Sarajevo JCE, the Srebrenica JCE and the Hostage-taking JCE). It furthermore delivers accounts of mass rapes, brutal beatings and executions in detention, and the destruction of homes and mosques by troops under Mladić’ command.

 

For the crimes, Mladić was sentenced to life in prison – in determining this sentence, the Chamber explained when delivering the Judgment that it took into account the gravity of the crimes committed; “the crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity.” Mladić may now appeal against the judgment – any appeal will be heard by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT).

 

The Judgment is the final Trial Judgment of the ICTY, and concludes a trial during which the Chamber sat for 530 days, heard evidence from 592 witnesses, and saw close to 10,000 exhibits. In its lifespan, the ICTY has indicted 161 persons for international crimes – 155 proceedings have been concluded, while 6 continue. (ICTY Judgment Summary, ICTY Press Release, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The Guardian)