Mladic verdict a 'momentous victory for justice': UN

2017-11-22 17:04
Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic is pictured during an angry outburst in the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. (AP)

Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic is pictured during an angry outburst in the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. (AP)

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Geneva - The genocide conviction of Ratko Mladic is a "momentous victory for justice", the United Nations said on Wednesday, calling the former Bosnian Serbian commander "the epitome of evil.

"The verdict is a warning to the perpetrators of such crimes that they will not escape justice, no matter how powerful they may be nor how long it may take. They will be held accountable," said UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein.

Mladic was sentenced to life in prison for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in the final trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which is due to close its doors next month.

Protection officer

"Mladic presided over some of the darkest crimes to occur in Europe since World War II, bringing terror, death and destruction to thousands of victims, and sorrow, tragedy and trauma to countless more," Zeid added.

The UN statement noted that Zeid served as a UN protection officer in the former Yugoslavia from 1994 to 1996 and experienced the conflict "first-hand".

Mladic, who has been dubbed "The Butcher of Bosnia", was convicted over crimes committed during the 1992-1995 war that killed 100 000 people and displaced 2.2 million as ethnic rivalries tore Yugoslavia apart.

The Hague-based ICTY found him responsible for the 1995 massacre in northeastern Srebrenica, where troops under his command slaughtered almost 8 000 Muslim men and boys.

Read more on:    un  |  ratko mladic  |  switzerland  |  the netherlands
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