News24

UN court wants life for Serb commander

2012-08-21 22:19

The Hague - UN prosecutors in the trial of a former commander for Bosnian Serb army general Ratko Mladic on Tuesday sought a life sentence for the ex-general before the Yugoslav war crimes court.

"There is only one sentence for this crime and that is life in prison," Peter McCloskey said in closing arguments before the International Criminal Tribunal where Zdravko Tolimir faces genocide and war crimes charges.

Tolimir, 63, is being tried on eight counts including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in Bosnia's bloody war which claimed 100 000 lives and left 2.2 million homeless.

Prosecutors said the former Bosnian Serb army intelligence chief - who reported directly to Ratko Mladic - was part of a grand scheme to murder thousands Muslims men and boys and expel thousands of women and children at Srebrenica in 1995 in order to create a "mono-ethnic Serb state."

Almost 8 000 Muslim men and boys were murdered in July 1995 in the "safe area". It was deemed the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II.

Arrested in May, 2007 in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Tolimir's trial has been delayed several times due to ill health.

Mladic was arrested in Serbia last year, and now faces 11 counts before the same Hague-based court including for the Srebrenica massacre.

Tolimir has pleaded not guilty and has chosen to conduct his own defence.