UN Lawyer: Ratko Mladic Was "key" To Srebrenica Atrocities

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: A United Nations lawyer urged judges Wednesday to reject former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic’s claim that he was not responsible for mass killings and displacements in the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica, as the former general’s appeal against his convictions and life sentence entered its final day.

Mladic’s defense lawyers called on judges on Tuesday to overturn his 2017 convictions for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for orchestrating atrocities throughout the 1992-95 Bosnian War. Among their arguments, the lawyers said that busing Bosnian Muslims out of Srebrenica 25 years ago was a humanitarian mission, not a forcible transfer of civilians.

At a hearing conducted at the U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals partly by video conference because of coronavirus restrictions, prosecution lawyer Laurel Baig rejected that characterization of the events.

Mladics arguments claiming a humanitarian evacuation ignore that the displacement operation was violent and coercive,” Baig said. “There was nothing humanitarian about this operation. On the contrary, it was barbaric.

The forcible removal of Bosnian Muslims civilians and the massacre of more than 8,000 men and boys from Srebrenica was the bloody climax of the war that left an estimated 100,000 people dead. Mladic and his political master, Radovan Karadzic, both have been convicted by a U.N. war crimes tribunal of genocide and other offenses for their roles. Karadzic’s conviction was upheld on appeal last year.

Mladic was key to the success of this operation, Baig said. Not only was he present, giving orders supervising and directing, he also played a critical and high level role in keeping the international community from stopping these massacres.

Mladic, 77, was in court Wednesday following the proceedings. Judges have set aside 10 minutes for him to address them at the end of Wednesday’s hearing. The five-judge panel will likely take months to issue a final decision on his appeal.

Source: https://in.news.yahoo.com/un-lawyer-ratko-mladic-key-100422530.html


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