THE HAGUE, November 22. /TASS/. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has sentenced Ratko Mladic, a former Bosnian Serb general, to life in prison.
The decision was announced on Wednesday by Judge Alphons Orie. The UN tribunal at The Hague found Mladic guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war during the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) from 1992 until 1995.
He was also found guilty of "persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, and the inhumane act of forcible transfer."
Mladic had managed to escape prosecution for 16 years until his arrest in Serbia in May 2011 and extradition to The Hague.
"Circumstances were brutal; those who tried to defend their homes were met with ruthless force. Mass executions occurred and some victims succumbed after being beaten. Many of the perpetrators who had captured Bosnian Muslims, showed little or no respect for human life or dignity," the judge said.
The trial began in May 2012 and the hearing of evidence lasted for over four years.
Ratko Mladić was chief of staff of Bosnian Serb forces from 1992 until 1996, during the civil wars and ethnic cleansing that followed the break-up of the Yugoslav state.