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War criminal Mladić handed life sentence for genocide, crimes against humanity

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb Army Commander Ratko Mladić was sentenced to life imprisonment [judgment summary] Wednesday by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] for crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict from 1992-1996.

Mladić was found guilty of two counts of genocide, crimes against humanity (five counts: persecutions; extermination; murder; deportation; and inhuman acts) and violations of the laws or customs of war (four counts: murder; terror; unlawful attacks on civilians; and taking of hostages).

The summary of the judgment reads:

In determining the appropriate sentence to be imposed, the Chamber has taken into account the gravity of the crimes of which Mr. Mladić has been found guilty. The crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity.

Mladić's sentencing marks the finale in a case spanning nearly two decades [ICTY timeline], beginning with his arrest warrant in 1996, followed by his 2011 arrest [JURIST report], almost 16 years after, and trial, which began in May 2012 and has been postponed several times [JURIST report]. In December 2016, closing arguments were held, and prosecutors urged [JURIST report] the judges to impose a life sentence.

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