'Butcher of Bosnia' found guilty of genocide

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Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic was jailed for life by United Nations judges on Wednesday after being found guilty of crimes against humanity, including genocide.

Mladic stood up shouting at the judges, and was forcibly removed from the courtroom to allow the verdicts to be read.

Mladic, known as the "Butcher of Bosnia" was accused of commanding forces responsible for crimes including the worst atrocities of the war - the deadly three-year siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the eastern enclave of Srebrenica, which was Europe's worst mass killing since World War II.

Mladic faced two counts of genocide, among other crimes, but although the court found him guilty over his role in Srebrenica he was found not guilty of genocide in six other Bosnian municipalities: Foca, Kljuc, Kotor-Varos, Prijedor, Sanski Most and Vlasenica.

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The UN war crimes tribunal found that Mladic had committed these crimes through his participation in, and contribution to, four joint criminal enterprises (JCE), i.e. the Overarching JCE, the Sarajevo JCE, the Srebrenica JCE and the Hostage-taking JCE.

Then Mladic's lawyer asked for a delay because the general was suffering high blood pressure. "Numerous perpetrators who had captured Bosnian Muslims, showed little or no respect for human life or dignity", Orie said.

Mladic, now 74, was chief of staff of Bosnian Serb forces from 1992 until 1996, during the ferocious civil wars and ethnic cleansing that followed the break-up of the Yugoslav state.

Prosecutors had called for a life sentence, after a five-year trial in which nearly 600 witnesses testified and more than 10,000 exhibits were presented.

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"It is certain we will file an appeal and the appeal will be successful", attorney Dragan Ivetic said.

For victims of the atrocities committed by the Bosnian Serb army however, it was time for Mladic to face justice.

The verdict had been delayed earlier while Mladic underwent a blood pressure test, his son Darko said.

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