The UN war crimes tribunal has issued its judgement in the case of seven former high ranking military and police officers and ruled that genocide was committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995, finding three Bosnian Serbs guilty of genocide for their role in the massacre.
The first-instance verdict, rendered today, found that Vujadin Popovic and Ljubisa Beara were guilty on charges of genocide and sentenced the two men to life imprisonment.
In its ruling the trial chamber concluded that: "In a context of war and of human history, these crimes are unknown for their cruelty and scope."
The court found Drago Nikolic guilty for aiding and abetting genocide and sentenced him to 35 years in prison.
Ljubomir Borovcanin was found guilty for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity and sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment.
Vinko Pandurevic, Radivoje Miletic, and Milan Gvero were found guilty for crimes against humanity and given sentences of 13, 19, and five years' imprisonment, respectively.
Both the prosecution and the defence have the right to appeal the ruling.
The trial chamber's ruling is the second Srebrenica genocide verdict issued by the International Crime Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, ICTY.
The first Srebrenica genocide judgement was issued against Radislav Krstic in 2004. Krstic was chief of staff/deputy commander of the Army of Republika Srpska, VRS, Drina Corps who was later promoted to the rank of General-Major and assumed command of Drina Corps on July 13, 1995. He was found guilty for “aiding and abetting” genocide and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
In July 1995, more than 8,000 civilians, mostly men and boys, were killed, while more than 25,000 were forcefully expelled from the city of Srebrenica.
The trial against the seven is the largest ever in the ICTY, and one of the longest after three and a half years of evidence presentation.
The trials of Radovan Karadzic and Zdravko Tolimir, also indicted for genocide in Srebrenica, are ongoing.
Ratko Mladic, who led the VRS in Srebrenica and has been indicted for genocide, is still at large. He is believed to be hiding in Serbia.
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