THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic returned to a United Nations court on Tuesday to appeal his 2017 conviction for genocide and crimes versus humankind throughout the Yugoslav Wars.
Mladic is serving a life sentence after being condemned of supervising the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and young boys at Srebrenica in 1995 and attacking and killing civilians during the 43- month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.
Trial judges ruled he was responsible for massacres of Bosnian Muslims and “ethnic cleaning” campaigns as part of a plan to forge a Greater Serbia out of parts of the previous Yugoslavia, together with Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and previous Serb politician Slobodan Milosvic. He was the commander of Bosnian Serb forces during the 1992-95 war that was part of Yugoslavia’s break up.
At the start of two days of hearings, Presiding Judge Prisca Nyambe said Mladic has actually put forward nine premises of appeal, requesting acquittal or a retrial.
” The prosecution responds that Mr. Mladic’s appeal need to be declined in its totality,” she said in opening remarks.
Mladic, 77, appeared wearing a facemask which he eliminated after a couple of minutes. The procedures are being transmitted by video due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mladic’s legal representatives have sought to postpone the appeal, arguing that the former general remains in poor health.
Mladic was founded guilty of 10 out of 11 charges at trial and prosecutors are seeking an extra genocide conviction.
Prosecutors say Mladic’s sentence must be maintained and he must likewise have been founded guilty of the 11 th charge, genocide versus Bosniaks and Croats in 5 municipalities of Bosnia in 1992.
Mladic’s appeal is being held at a U.N. court in The Hague set up to hear appeals and remaining cases from the former Yugoslav Tribunal, which closed in 2017.
Mladic will be permitted to resolve the court for 10 minutes on Wednesday. Judges have yet to set a date for a decision, likely to be at some point in 2021.
Reporting by Toby Sterling; Modifying by Angus MacSwan
for-phone-only for-tablet-portrait-up for-tablet-landscape-up for-desktop-up for-wide-desktop-up