Ex-Bosnian Serb commander Mladic convicted of genocide, gets life in prison, but attorney says he will appeal

Ratko Mladic (Martin Meissner/AFP)
Updated 22 November 2017
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Ex-Bosnian Serb commander Mladic convicted of genocide, gets life in prison, but attorney says he will appeal

THE HAGUE: A UN tribunal on Wednesday convicted former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic of genocide and crimes against humanity for orchestrating massacres and ethnic cleansing during Bosnia’s war and sentenced him to life in prison.
After the sentencing Mladic’s attorney said his client would appeal the decision.
Mladic, 74, was hustled out of the court minutes before the verdict for screaming “this is all lies, you are all liars” after returning from what his son described as a blood pressure test which delayed the reading-out of the judgment.
The UN Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia found Mladic guilty of 10 of 11 charges, including the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, in which more than 11,000 civilians were killed by shelling and sniper fire over 43 months.
The killings in Srebrenica of men and boys after they were separated from women and taken away in buses or marched off to be shot amounted to Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two.
“The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind, and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity,” Presiding Judge Alphons Orie said in reading out a summary of the judgment.
“Many of these men and boys were cursed, insulted, threatened, forced to sing Serb songs and beaten while awaiting their executuion,” he said.
Mladic had pleaded not guilty to all charges and is expected to appeal against his conviction.
In its summary, the tribunal found Mladic “significantly contributed” to genocide committed in Srebrenica with the goal of destroying its Muslim population, “personally directed” the long bombardment of Sarajevo and was part of a “joint criminal enterprise” intending to purge Muslims and Croats from Bosnia.
In Geneva, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein called Mladic the “epitome of evil” and said his conviction after 16 years on the run and over four years of trial was a “momentous victory for justice.”
“The prosecution of Mladic is the epitome of what international justice is all about,” Zeid said in a statement.
“Today’s 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.”
Speaking after the sentencing Mladic’s attorney, Dragan Ivetic told journalists: “It is certain we will file an appeal and the appeal will be successful.”


China charges 10 over riot at a military veterans’ protest

Updated 10 December 2018
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China charges 10 over riot at a military veterans’ protest

  • The violence points to continued tensions between the authorities and ex-servicemen despite the establishment of a Cabinet agency to oversee veterans’ affairs
  • The government refused to confirm the riot at the time and censored reports about it on the Internet

BEIJING: China state media say 10 people have been charged with various offenses over rioting at a gathering of military veterans protesting for better benefits.
It wasn’t clear whether the suspects are veterans. However, the violence at the Oct. 4-7 gathering in the eastern city of Pingdu points to continued tensions between the authorities and ex-servicemen despite the establishment of a Cabinet agency to oversee veterans’ affairs.
Multiple protests have been staged in recent years, including in the capital, Beijing, to demand better pensions and health care.
The government refused to confirm the riot at the time and censored reports about it on the Internet.