By MIKE CORDER
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A U.N. war crimes tribunal will deliver its verdict next month in the long-running trial of former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic, who faces a possible life sentence if convicted of charges including genocide.
Mladic was tried on 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for allegedly overseeing atrocities by Serb forces in Bosnia’s 1992-95 war including the deadly campaign of sniping in the capital, Sarajevo, and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia announced Wednesday that it will deliver its judgment in Mladic’s trial on Nov. 22.
Prosecutors last year urged judges to convict Mladic and sentence him to life imprisonment.
Summing up the case in December, prosecution trial attorney Alan Tieger told the three-judge panel it would be “an insult to the victims, living and dead, and an affront to justice to impose any sentence other than the most severe available under law: A life sentence.”
Mladic’s defense lawyer Dragan Ivetic called for acquittal on all charges, saying prosecutors failed to prove Mladic’s guilt. Ivetic said prosecutors wanted to make the 75-year-old former general “the symbolic sacrificial lamb for the perceived guilt” of Serbs during the war that left 100,000 people dead.
Mladic’s trial, which started more than five years ago, is the last case still underway at the tribunal, which convicted and sentenced 83 suspects, including Mladic’s political master Radovan Karadzic, who was convicted on 10 charges and sentenced to 40 years. Karadzic is appealing his convictions.
Mladic was long a symbol of impunity in the Balkans. He was first indicted in 1995, but avoided arrest for more than a decade until he was finally taken into custody in Serbia in 2011 and sent to The Hague to face trial.