Dating a serb updating of security procedures
Emotions ran high outside the courtroom, with a small skirmish reflecting lingering tensions between Serbs and Bosniaks over the trial and the war.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, hailed the conviction as a “momentous victory for justice”.
They will be held accountable.” Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia, said Serbia “respects the victims” and called for a focus on the future.
“I would like to call on everyone [in the region] to start looking into the future and not to drown in tears of the past... so we finally have a stable country,” Mr Vucic said.
Serbia, once the most powerful Yugoslav republic, is now democratic and seeking ties to the European Union.
Denis Zvizdic, the Prime Minister of Bosnia, said he hoped “those who still call for new divisions and conflicts will carefully read the verdict rendered today...
“The atrocities perpetrated in the Balkans in the 1990s marked one of Europe’s darkest periods.
We must join together to ensure it never happens again.” Lord Ashdown, who was the international community’s high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006, welcomed the conviction.
Mladic will appeal against his convictions, his defence lawyer has said.
The mothers of Srebrenica’s victims clapped when the convictions were read out. The court was totally biased from the start.” Despite his ailing health, Mladic looked relaxed, greeting lawyers and giving a thumbs-up to photographers in court.
He nodded regularly as the judge read out descriptions of atrocities by Bosnian Serb forces, one by one.
It would be too many even for 300 years, let alone three days,' said Vasva Smajlovic, 74, referring to the Srebrenica slaughter in July 1995.
Her husband, son-in-law and other relatives were among the 8,000 Muslim men and boys taken away and shot dead execution-style after Mladic assured U. peacekeepers and local residents that no harm would befall them after his forces seized the town.'I try to count my dead all the time. All this comes too late.'Her sister-in-law felt, however, said justice was served with Mladic's conviction, even if it came 22 years after the war.'Nothing can compensate for our pain but it is important that justice is done,' said Bida Smajlovic, who last saw her husband when he tried to flee Srebrenica through woods in July 1995. Memories: Vasva Smajlovic, 74, who lost her husband and her son-in-law along with more than 30 members of her close family, and Bida Smajlovic 65, who lost her brother and husband along with more than 50 members of her close family Verdict: A woman reacts as she watches a television broadcast of the court proceedings of former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic in the Memorial centre Potocari near Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina today'The prosecution of Mladic is the epitome of what international justice is all about,' U. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement.'Today's verdict is a warning to the perpetrators of such crimes that they will not escape justice, no matter how powerful they may be nor how long it may take.'A three-judge panel at the court convicted Mladic of ten of 11 counts in a dramatic climax to a groundbreaking effort to seek justice for the wars in the former Yugoslavia.
The UN has called the conviction of Mladic a 'momentous victory for justice', branding the former military commander the 'epitome of evil'.