War criminal gets life in prison for Srebrenica genocide

Srebrenica_massacre_memorial_gravestones_2009_1 Michael Büker Wikimedia commons

The Yugoslavia Tribunal in The Hague found former Bosnian-Serb army leader Ratko Mladic guilty of committing genocide in Srebrenica. He was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday, NU.nl reports

The tribunal held Mladic responsible for the mass slaughter of over 7 thousand Muslim boys and men around the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995. He was also held responsible for the systematic shooting of civilians in Sarajevo and the failure to stop subordinates committing war crimes. 

The now 74-year-old Mladic was arrested in Serbia in 2011 after a manhunt that lasted 16 years. He was present in the courtroom on Wednesday, but was removed while the verdict was being read because of an outburst. He wanted the trial to be suspended, but the court refused. 

Shortly before, the judge allowed a five minute bathroom break, but after 30 minutes Mladic still hadn't returned to the courtroom. His lawyers explained that his blood pressure was taken several times during the break. According to the lawyers, his blood pressure is dangerously high.

Before the start of the hearing, Mladic's lawyer said that his client was present "under protest". According to the lawyer, Mladic's health is so bad that he could die at any moment due to the stress. The tribunal deemed him fit enough to be present. 

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