On Monday, the Prosecution started presenting its closing arguments in the trial of the former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic. The four-and-a-half year trial moves closer to its conclusion as the last major war crimes case at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Prosecutor Alan Tieger told the judges that, unlike the marginal role ascribed to him by the defence, Mladic was a central figure in the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica. “Mladic walked into Srebrenica and vowed that the time had come to take revenge on the Turks,” said Tieger accusing Mladic of leading the “systematic slaughter” of more than 8,000 Muslim boys and men. The 74-year-old faces up to life imprisonment on two counts of genocide and nine counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Mladic was arrested in Serbia in May 2011 after being 16 years on the run, and is also facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the 44-month siege of Sarajevo, in which an estimated 10,000 people died. His trial at the ICTY began soon after his arrest, alongside that of former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic who was sentenced to 40 years in prison in March this year. In his closing arguments, Tieger also quoted Mladic as telling the Bosnian Serb assembly in 1994 they had an historic opportunity to create “not any kind of state, but an all-Serb state with as few enemies as possible”. A verdict is expected in 2017, with closing arguments due to conclude on December 15.
News Courtesy: Reuters