Ratko Mladic 'Butcher of the Balkans' to appeal conviction

Ratko Mladic 'Butcher of the Balkans' to appeal conviction
© Belga

The appeal by former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic against the life sentence he received for his role in the Srebrenica genocide and other crimes will be heard on 25 and 26 August in the Hague, international judges announced on Friday.

Originally scheduled for March, the hearing was first postponed to June after Mladic (77) underwent a colon operation. It was postponed a second time because of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Nicknamed the “Butcher of the Balkans,” Mladic was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war in Bosnia (1992-1995), in which about 100,000 people died and 2.2 million were displaced. Both the defence and the prosecution appealed.

Mladic was convicted mainly for his role in the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica genocide in 1995, the worst mass killings in Europe since World War II, with over 8,000 deaths.

The prosecution’s appeal was mainly against the ICTY’s decision to acquit the former military leader of genocide in many other municipalities.

The defence will first present its case on 25 August, followed by the prosecutor’s rebuttal.

Mladic will then have an opportunity to take the stand for 10 minutes on 26 August, at the end of the hearing.

The Brussels Times

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