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UN Tribunal To Announce War Crimes Verdict Against Bosnian Serb Mladic On November 22


Former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic during a war crimes hearing at The Hague. (file photo)

A United Nations war crimes panel in The Hague is scheduled to deliver its verdict against former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic next month, after a trial that lasted more than five years.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said on October 18 that the verdict against the former general will be announced on November 22.

The 75-year-old Mladic is accused of 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes for his alleged actions during the Bosnian war in 1992-95, when he was in charge of Serb forces.

He is accused of overseeing the massacre of more than 8,000 men and boys in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica in July 1995.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Mladic's political counterpart, was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison last year.

Prosecutors urged judges to convict Mladic and sentence him to life in prison.

Mladic's defense team called for acquittal on all charges, saying Mladic's guilt was never proven and that prosecutors wanted to make the Mladic "the symbolic sacrificial lamb for the perceived guilt" of Serbs during the war that left 100,000 people dead.

Mladic was indicted in 1995 but was only taken into custody in Serbia in 2011 and sent to The Hague to face trial.

The former general's trial is the last case under way at The Hague tribunal. So far, 83 suspects have been sentenced for their actions during the war. Many are appealing the convictions.

"The Mladic case with the Karadzic case are two of the most important, if not the most important, cases in the history of the tribunal, as we consider Mladic to be the main architect of the policy of ethnic cleansing in a number of municipalities in Bosnia," prosecutor Serge Brammertz told the media.

The tribunal is set to disband on December 31 after more than 20 years of operation.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa
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