Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Ratko Mladic war crimes trial

Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Ratko Mladic war crimes trial

[JURIST] Prosecutors before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Monday began closing arguments [live broadcast] in the trial of former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic [BBC profile]. It is expected that the closing arguments will last over one week and the verdict is expected to come in 2017. This trial marks the last major trial in the tribunal.

Mladic began his defense case [JURIST news report] began his defense case before the UN ICTY in 2014. It started with testimony of Mile Sladoje, a former Serb army officer who claimed that he was never ordered to shoot civilians during the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder]. Mladic faces an 11-count indictment, including two counts of genocide and nine counts of war crimes, alleging that he was responsible for the massacre as well as a Serb sniping and mortar campaign. The former general, however, denies these charges, insisting instead that his troops were acting in defense of the Serbs. To support this assertion, Sladoje’s testified that he never received nor issued any orders to open fire on civilians during the time of the conflict. If convicted, Mladic faces a maximum life sentence.