'Butcher of Bosnia' Mladic appeal date set for March

DAILY SABAH WITH AFP
ISTANBUL
Published 16.12.2019 18:55
Updated 20.12.2019 02:27
Ex-Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic appears in court at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ICTY in The Hague, Nov. 22, 2017. REUTERS Photo
Ex-Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic appears in court at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Nov. 22, 2017. (REUTERS Photo)

A U.N. tribunal will hear arguments in March in the appeal of former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, convicted of genocide and war crimes committed in the 1992-1995 Bosnian genocide, the worst mass killing in Europe since World War II.

Judges at the U.N.'s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague ordered that the hearings would take place on March 17-18.

Mladic, once dubbed the "Butcher of Bosnia," was sentenced to life behind bars in November 2017 for his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre where Serbian troops under his command slaughtered almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

He has denied the 11 counts, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 war that killed 100,000 and displaced 2.2 million as ethnic rivalries tore Yugoslavia apart.

Mladic was among the top leaders to face international justice over the Balkans wars, along with former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. They were accused of forming a "joint criminal enterprise" to create a Greater Serbia by ridding the territory of Bosnian Muslims and non-Serbs.

Milosevic died in his cell in The Hague in March 2006, suffering a heart attack before his trial had finished. Karadzic was convicted of genocide in 2016 for the Srebrenica massacre and other atrocities during the war and sentenced to 40 years.

After an appeal, judges increased his sentence to life, saying the initial term had underestimated the "sheer scale and systematic cruelty" of his crimes.

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