UN Tribunal schedules verdict in Mladic war crimes trial for Nov. 22

by Reuters
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:32 GMT

Bosnian survivors and family members carry a banner with victims of the Bosnian war as they gather outside the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) before the verdict of the genocide trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is announced, in the Hague, the Netherlands March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Kooren

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"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"

(Updates with quotes, background)

By Stephanie van der Berg

AMSTERDAM, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The U.N. Yugoslav tribunal said on Wednesday said it had scheduled its verdict in the war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic for Nov. 22.

Mladic, 74, is accused of crimes including genocide for his role as military leader in allegedly overseeing the massacre of more than 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica, Bosnia, in July 1995.

His political counterpart, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2016.

"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 reporters.

"He is considered to be the main responsible (person) for the genocide in Srebrenica (…) and for the shelling and sniping of the city of Sarajevo between 1992-95."

Mladic defence lawyer Dragan Ivetic told Reuters the prosecution had misstated facts and evidence during his trial, which began in 2011.

"A full acquittal is what we would expect to be a fair judgment," Iveric said.

The Mladic ruling will be the final verdict delivered at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which closes on Dec. 31 after more than 20 years prosecuting the ethnic warfare that accompanied the 1990s collapse of Yugoslavia.

Remaining legal process at the ICTY -- including Karadzic's appeal and that of Mladic if he is convicted and also decides to challenge the verdict -- will be handed over to a smaller court already established by the U.N. Security Council in The Hague.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling and Stephanie van der Berg; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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