Bosnia war crimes suspect General Ratko Mladic arrested

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13561407

Fugitive Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic has been arrested in Serbia after 16 years on the run.

Gen Mladic, 69, was found in a village in northern Serbia where had been living under an assumed name.

He faces charges over the massacre of at least 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.

Serbian President Boris Tadic said the process to extradite the former Bosnian Serb army chief to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague was under way.

Following the arrest of Radovan Karadzic in 2008, Gen Mladic became the most prominent Bosnian war crimes suspect at large.

His detention, President Tadic said, brought the country and the region closer to reconciliation, and opened the doors to European Union membership.

He also rejected criticism that Serbia had only taken action following international pressure.

"We have been co-operating with the Hague Tribunal fully from the beginning of the mandate of this government," he said.

Serbian media initially reported that Mr Mladic was already on his way to the UN tribunal for the former Yougoslavia in The Hague.

But Serbian prosecutors later said the procedure to extradite him might take a week.

A spokeswoman for families of Srebrenica victims, Hajra Catic, told AFP news agency: "After 16 years of waiting, for us, the victims' families, this is a relief."

'Village stake-out'
Gen Mladic is due to appear before a Serbian judge later on Thursday.

He was arrested in the province of Vojvodina in the early hours of Thursday, Serbian Justice Minister Slobodan Homan told the BBC.

He was reportedly using the assumed name Milorad Komodic.

Serbian security sources told AFP news agency that three special units had descended on a house in the village of Lazarevo, about 80km (50 miles) north of Belgrade.

The house was owned by a relative of Gen Mladic and had been under surveillance for the past two weeks, one of the sources added.

UN war crimes chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz welcomed the arrest, saying: "Today's events show that people responsible for grave violations of international humanitarian law can no longer count on impunity."

Mr Brammertz said UN prosecutors thanked the Serbian authorities for "meeting their obligations towards the tribunal and towards justice".

Gen Mladic was indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague in 1995 for genocide over the killings that July at Srebrenica - the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II - and other alleged crimes.

Having lived freely in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, he disappeared after the arrest of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in 2001.


Speculation mounted that Gen Mladic would eventually be arrested when Mr Karadzic was captured in Belgrade in July 2008.

Larry Hollingworth, a logistics officer with the UN refugee agency who regularly met Gen Mladic during the Bosnian war, said he was "absolutely delighted" by news of the arrest.

"He was a very, very imposing figure and managed to frighten a lot of people - certainly those who worked for him," he told BBC Radio 4.
 
In a message through his lawyer from his cell at The Hague, Radovan Karadzic says he is "sorry for General Mladic's loss of freedom" and that he "looks forward to working with him to bring out the truth about what happened in Bosnia", reports AP news agency.
 
If only Clinton was being charged too...then there would be some legitimacy to this process...
 
It's understood that Ratko Mladic is now at the special war crimes court in Belgrade, where he is to appear before a judge.
 
How could he have lived 16 years in a country without the intelligence agencies knowing where he was? This is at best gross incompetence, or at worst, complicity.

:yk
 
Interesting...

Milica Milivojevic Belgrade, Serbia emails: I am not shocked by this. The government is really struggling here. It is entirely politically motivated. The government is simply trying to appeal to the EU. I also don't think he was really captured in that village

Sandja in Sarajevo emails: Without a doubt, the Serbian authorities knew all along about Mladic's whereabouts. It is only now after the EU's officials declared a negative stance on Serbia's progress towards the EU, they have taken the step forward and actually arrested one of the world's worst criminals.
 
If only Clinton was being charged too...then there would be some legitimacy to this process...

Why?

For all NATO's failings, you have to admit that in their intervention in Serbia, they saved countless Muslim lives while Muslim nations basically did nothing, that issue is never publicized.
 
Why?

For all NATO's failings, you have to admit that in their intervention in Serbia, they saved countless Muslim lives while Muslim nations basically did nothing, that issue is never publicized.

muslim nations did sent and supported the mujahideens ..but they were accused of being al qaida in europe

<iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EQ4HnKueGUM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
Why?

For all NATO's failings, you have to admit that in their intervention in Serbia, they saved countless Muslim lives while Muslim nations basically did nothing, that issue is never publicized.

Humanitarian intervention has to be on of the biggest shams around...its a nice disguise for unilateral action...and it doesn't have any explicit legality...unilateral humanitarian intervention contradicted the UN charter...this war was about getting a puppet government in Europe and to assert NATO's legitimacy...there is no such thing as humanitarian intervention...the US actually OPPOSED intervention in Rwanda for instance...intentions aside lets look at ground reality...

The US withdrew its support for this court in 2002 and declared itself exempt from the courts jurisdiction...Carla Del Ponte the chief prosecutor was at one point looking at examining NATO with war crimes and the was interested in Clinton hence the US exercised their right to not be bound...

In terms of Kosovo it lacked security council approval and UN approval...between 500 and 1800 women and children died as a result of NATO bombing alone...and what most people seem to miss out is the fact that the majority of violence took place AFTER NATO bombing...between 2,000 to 10,000 died in Serb/Albanian violence after the bombing started...

The bombing caused between $60-100billion damage...

The bombing campaign left 1million refugees of which over 800000 were Albanians...now the Western argument is that they were fleeing terror...that may be the case but is it not also plausible that the refugees have been caused by those escaping NATO bombings...the number of refugees was not significant prior to the bombing campaign...ethnic cleansing took place AFTER the bombing...

Now this bit is crucial to your claim that they saved Muslims...NATO said the Serbs were going to kill Muslims with or without the bombing...one argument is that Milosevic anticipated an air campaign and would use it as a cover to attack civilians...this is a stance by Ignatieff who supported NATO's position...but surely if you provoke a crime then you take some responsibility...if you acknowledge that without bombing ethnic cleansing wouldn't have taken place then surely NATO are complicit and are responsible...

There was no evidence of genocide prior to the bombing campaign, no refugee crisis...of Milosevic's alleged 385 murders, 340 took place AFTER the bombing campaign...would these deaths have occurred if NATO have not bombed?...if not then these are crimes...

NATO also supported the KLA who unleashed terror against Serbs and Roma and in fact Albanians too who were essentially expelled or cleansed...is that protections of civilians?...NATO collaborated with the KLA to get the invasion sorted despite the KLA being militants...most of the violence pre war was in KLA ruled areas which essentially was defence against guerilla forces...the KLA were provoking violence to bring on an intervention...even supporters of NATO's position state that the KLA were attempting to incite the Serbs...worth noting the Security council criticised both sides but NATO actively supported one...sound familiar?...

Also if you noticed with agreements the Serbs would often agree and the Albanians disagree...at Rambouillet the Serbs had to agree to NATO presence in the whole of Yugoslavia including associate airspace and water lol...this sound reasonable to you?...Milosevic did actually agree very reasonably to Kosovan autonomy...but they were told to sign the agreement that the Albanians agreed to otherwise they would get bombed...progress had been made during this whole process in the country other than the KLA yet the Americans bombed 5 days later...this when in fact it was the Albanians who were constantly refusing to compromise lol...

Also worth focusing on conduct...even those who supported the intervention state that NATO's conduct was aimed at Milosevic's regime rather than at protection of civilians...

Also important to your claim that Muslims had it better thanks to the invasion have a look at Kosovo now...instability and full of crime with heavy economic damage caused by the war...freedoms are curtailed in terms of assembly and belief...its hardly become a paradise for Kosovans but I'm sure construction companies and banks are loving it ;-)...
 
I actually completely disagree with the NATO bombing of Belgrade, along the grounds you mentioned. I was just curious on your views, I agree that nations should be left alone and not interfered with.
 
I actually completely disagree with the NATO bombing of Belgrade, along the grounds you mentioned. I was just curious on your views, I agree that nations should be left alone and not interfered with.

I don't think humanitarian intervention is incorrect as a principle but believe it is manipulated...it can essentially be used now by NATO to justify any intervention as they have done...

This is in no way a defence for the likes of Mladic who should be held to account for his crimes which are heinous...its just the use of selective justice is appalling...I find it incredible how a nation can openly state to not be bound by the courts rules yet speak about justice and seek opposition nations or individuals to be judged by it...

In addition btw to my last post its worth noting the US role in Bosnia...there are many voices which state that American intervention damaged the peace plans at the time...agreements that if signed would have meant no war...Americans sponsored the Bosnian Muslims and encouraged them to reject any compromises in return for assistance...although not a war crime the Muslims were given false promises which ultimately led to a civil war that could have been avoided...

Worth noting that the Serbs had 43% in a unified state in the original agreement prior to civil war...after all the bloodshed and civil conflict the Serbs had 49% in a state partitioned into two...now do Bosnian Muslims have much to be thankful for?...this was a tragedy and one that wasn't necessary...

They now had a Bosnia Herzegovina that had been brokered by American power and was a permanent protectorate of NATO...
 
I'm pleased that one of the world's genuinely bad guys is being brought to justice at last.
 
Tick tock, General.

http://news.sky.com/story/bosnia-wa...genocide-trial-hears-final-arguments-10684422

Closing arguments are being heard in the genocide trial of a former Serb military commander during the Bosnian war.

Ratko Mladic was described as a central figure in the 1995 massacre of thousands of Muslims from the Bosnia and Herzegovina town of Srebrenica.

The tribunal at The Hague heard that rather than the "marginalised figure" his defence attorney made him out to be, Mladic helped orchestrate the killings. Prosecutor Alan Tieger told judges: "Mladic walked into Srebrenica and vowed that the time had come to take revenge on the Turks."

He said it resulted in 8,000 Muslim men and boys, some as young as 12, being "systematically slaughtered".

The 74-year-old's trial for genocide will be the last one heard by the Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia after more than 20 years of war crime prosecutions. The crimes were committed in the wars that broke out following the collapse of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. The massacre was described as the worst atrocity on European soil since the end of World War Two.

Mladic is standing trial on two counts of genocide and nine counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. Hearings are expected to conclude on 15 December and a judgement is due in 2017.

Families of the victims are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the case, with groups of grieving relatives gathering outside the court. Munira Subasic, who leads the Mothers of Srebrenica group, said: "If Mladic hadn't come to Srebrenica my son Nermin, whose birthday it is today, would still be alive."
 
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">One of the darkest chapters in recent human history .. Ratko Mladic pats a boy on the head saying everything will be ok and then 8000 boys and men are slaughtered .. Mladic verdict in next 24 hrs <a href="https://twitter.com/abcnews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@abcnews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Srebrenica?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Srebrenica</a> <a href="https://t.co/ceov9BaZIq">pic.twitter.com/ceov9BaZIq</a></p>— Joe O'Brien (@JoeABCNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeABCNews/status/932854997049425920?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 21, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 
Ratko Mladic denounces UN court in Srebrenica genocide appeal

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic has addressed judges in The Hague as part of an appeal against his conviction for genocide and crimes against humanity.

In a rambling speech, he launched a personal attack on the court, saying it was a child of Western powers.

He was jailed for life in 2017 for his part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre when about 8,000 Muslims were killed.

Mladic's lawyers have argued he was far away from the town when it happened.

Wednesday is the second and final day of the hearing but the verdict is not expected until the spring.

The hearing is taking place at a UN court which is considering appeals and remaining cases from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which ended in 2017.

Mladic's health problems and coronavirus restrictions delayed proceedings earlier.

The prosecution is urging judges to convict Mladic on a further genocide charge.

The Srebrenica massacre, carried out in an enclave supposed to be under UN protection, was the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two.

Read more:

What did the court hear?

Mladic, 78, entered the courtroom wearing a disposable face covering and sat down behind a Perspex screen.

When finally asked to speak near the end of the day, he said he had a low opinion of the court, and attacked the prosecutor, describing her as a "blonde lady who has been showering me with snaky, devilish words".

He said the court was a "child of the Nato alliance".

He also mentioned Srebrenica, which he said was the key to the trial, adding that he signed an agreement with the Bosnian Muslim army to honour it along with other protected areas. and suggested he was not to blame for the violation of these zones.

The former general asked to speak for 30 minutes, but was only allowed 10.

He said: "My time is only just coming, I am alive and I will live, and this indictment of yours has gone down the drain."

Three of the four appeals judges are participating remotely via video link due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

Prosecution lawyer Laurel Baig said Mladic had been convicted of some of "the most heinous crimes of the 20th Century".

"Mladic was in charge of the Srebrenica operation," she said.

"He used the forces under his command to execute thousands of men and boys."

A defence lawyer, Dragan Ivetic, denied his client had played a role, saying: "Mr Mladic is not a villain. He was someone who at all times was trying to help the UN do the job it couldn't do in Srebrenica at a humanitarian level."

The defence also argued that the proceedings should not go ahead until a medical team had reviewed Mladic's capacity to take part.

The man called the "Butcher of Bosnia" earlier needed an operation to remove a benign polyp on his colon, and had a request for a delay on health grounds rejected.

What was Mladic convicted of?

Mladic was the military commander of Bosnian Serb forces against Bosnian Croat and Bosniak armies. He went on trial at the ICTY in 2012, and was convicted in 2017.

But he was cleared of a second count of genocide in other municipalities and the court will hear an appeal by prosecutors against this acquittal this week.

How did the genocide happen?


Between 1991 and 1999 the socialist state of Yugoslavia broke up violently into separate entities covering the territories of what were then Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia.

Of all the conflicts, the war in Bosnia was the bloodiest as, ethnically and religiously, it was the most divided.

Yugoslav army units, withdrawn from Croatia and renamed the Bosnian Serb Army, carved out a huge swathe of Serb-dominated territory in Bosnia.

More than a million Bosnian Muslims and Croats were driven from their homes in ethnic cleansing, and Serbs suffered too. By the time the war ended in 1995, at least 100,000 people had been killed.

At the end of the war in 1995, Mladic went into hiding and lived in obscurity in Serbia, protected by family and elements of the security forces.

He was finally tracked down and arrested at a cousin's house in rural northern Serbia in 2011 after 16 years on the run.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53917671
 
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/08/ratko-mladic-butcher-of-bosnia-loses-appeal-genocide-conviction

Ratko Mladić, the former Bosnian Serb commander nicknamed the “butcher of Bosnia”, will spend the rest of his life in prison after a UN court dismissed his final appeal against convictions for genocide and crimes against humanity, in a judgment hailed as “historic” by the White House.

Unlike previous appearances at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, the 78-year-old showed little emotion as an hour-long reading of the judgment finally put an end to attempts to quash the charges against him.

Wearing a black suit and a sky blue tie, Mladić scowled, sat back in his chair and rested his chin on his hand as he listened to the rejection of each of his appeals against 10 convictions involving extermination, forcible transfers, terror, hostage-taking and unlawful attacks on civilians. He was the only person in court not wearing a mask.

For the final comments of the presiding judge, Prisca Matimba Nyambe, Mladić stood and bowed his head, flanked by two guards. The appeal had been dismissed “in its entirety” and his life sentence was affirmed, she told him.

Mladić’s only words during the hearing were to respond “Yes, I can” when asked whether he was able to follow the proceedings. There was the odd shake of the head, but Mladić’s behaviour stood in sharp contrast to his final appearance during the original 2017 conviction, where he had shouted “this is all lies” and “I’ll eff your mother”, while gesticulating at the relatives of his victims.

Shortly after the judgment was delivered, Joe Biden described it as a moment of hope.

“This historic judgment shows that those who commit horrific crimes will be held accountable,” the US president said. “It also reinforces our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world.

“My thoughts today are with all the surviving families of the many victims of Mladić’s atrocities. We can never erase the tragedy of their deaths, but I hope today’s judgment provides some solace to all those who are grieving.”

Dominic Raab, the UK’s foreign secretary, said the judgment “helped puncture impunity for the worst international crimes imaginable”.

Mladić will now join his one-time political master, the former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadžić, in serving a life sentence as a key architect of the ethnic cleansing and civil war that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

The appeal chamber’s judgment was marred for the survivors and relatives of victims gathered outside the court only by the decision of Nyambe, a judge from Zambia, to dissent from the majority decision of the chamber’s five judges to reject a range of Mladić’s claims for dismissal.

Munira Subašić’s husband, Hilmo, and 17-year-old son, Nermin, were killed in the Srebrenica genocide. She lost 22 members of her extended family and is now the head of the organisation Mothers of Srebrenica.

“Personally, I believe that justice has won, although as victims of course we are never completely satisfied,” Subašić said after the ruling. “This victory is not only for us but for all the mothers of Bosnia and Herzegovina whether they be Serb, Bosniak [Bosnian Muslims] or Croatian. Every mother suffers.”

Asked about Nyambe’s dissents, she said: “I simply believe that women are here to give birth, to create and to make the world a better place. But today, I witnessed the words of a woman – I don’t know whether she’s a mother or not – who had so many dissenting opinions, despite the fact that the whole world knows what happened there. So, I felt a bit antagonistic, asking myself whether it was possible for a woman to show that lack of understanding.”

The court rejected the prosecution’s attempt to add a second conviction of genocide to Mladić’s crimes relating to alleged offences in specific municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where there was said to be reasonable doubt over intent.

The judgment was final, however, that the former Serb commander, who had been on the run for over a decade before justice caught up with him in 2011, did play a leading role in the attempts to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina between May 1992 and November 1995 by spreading terror among the civilian population through sniping and shelling.

He was part of a criminal enterprise that sought to eliminate Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, in Europe’s first genocide since the second world war, the court said. Between 11 July 1995 and “at least” October 1995, his intention had been to kill men and boys and forcibly remove the women, young children and some elderly men.

Some 8,000 people died, most of them having been taken away in buses, lined up and shot, with their bodies dumped in mass graves. During the original trial, the prosecution had shown video footage of Mladić at the scene while men and boys were separated from their families. It was under Mladić’s command that UN personnel were taken hostage and put in strategic military locations to prevent Nato from launching airstrikes, the appeals chamber added.

“It’s a final judgment and of course it is extremely important, because he really symbolises more than everyone else, the war crimes committed, the hatred, the human suffering,” said Serge Brammertz, the former chief prosecutor at The Hague war crimes tribunal, who oversaw the capture of Mladić after 14 years on the run, and his prosecution. “It is definitely a very important moment for the tribunal for my team, but even more for survivors and victims.”

Brammertz, now chief prosecutor at the UN’s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, said he had expected Judge Nyambe’s dissenting opinions given her views expressed in earlier cases. But he added: “What is important today is that the large majority of judges upheld all convictions of the first instance and rejected in its entirety, the appeal by the defence.”

Mladić’s name “should be consigned to the list of history’s most depraved and barbarous figures”, he said.
 
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