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UN Prosecutors Call For Life Sentence For Bosnian Serb General


Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic sits at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague in May.

United Nations prosecutors have demanded a life sentence for former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic for orchestrating atrocities during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

Prosecutor Alan Tieger told judges at The Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on December 7 that 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."

Tieger said there was no doubt Mladic was guilty. "No-one can fathom the extent of the suffering for which Ratko Mladic is responsible," he said.

Tieger was speaking at the end of prosecutors' closing statements at the conclusion of Mladic's trial.

The 74-year-old Mladic is facing 11 charges, including two charges of genocide as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has denied all the charges.

Mladic is accused of helping orchestrate the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica.

Mladic is also accused of being the architect of the 44-month siege of Sarajevo, where an estimated 10,000 people were killed by shelling and snipers.

Mladic's defense attorneys will deliver their closing statements before the three-judge panel retires to consider verdicts, which are expected late next year.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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