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Former Bosnian Serb commander Mladic prosecuted for genocide

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, during a historic hearing at the Hague, was sentenced to life in prison for a litany of crimes including genocide.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) set up by the United Nations, convicted Mr Mladic of 10 crimes including extermination, murder and persecution of civilian populations.

The former army general faced two charges of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and four violations of the laws of customs of war.

The verdict, which took place in The Hague, faced several disruptions as Mr Mladic refused to accept the charges, and defence lawyers requested proceedings be halted because of his high blood pressure.

Mr Mladic then stood up shouting “this is all lies”, and was forcibly removed from the courtroom.

Mr Mladic, 64, was the chief of staff of Bosnian Serb forces from 1992 until 1996 during the ethnic wars following the break up of the Yugoslav state.

The trial in the Hague, took 530 days over the course of four years, with relatives of the victims flying into the Netherlands to attend the final hearing.

Once Mr Mladic exhausts any appeals, he could be sent to the UK to serve out the rest of his sentence. Britain was once of the countries that sign dup to the tribunals agreement on the enforcement of sentences.

The former Liberian general Charles Taylor, is also serving out a 50 year prison sentence in the UK.

See more here.