Former Bosnian Serb army leader Ratko Mladic, nicknamed “the butcher of Bosnia,” will have to serve his life sentence after an appeal against his war crimes convictions was rejected on Tuesday.
Mladic, 79, was sentenced to life in prison in 2017 after being found guilty of genocide for atrocities committed during the Bosnian war from 1992 to 1995.
Tuesday’s decision ends the last major Balkan war crimes trial before a United Nations court.
Mladic was charged with two counts of genocide and nine crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, where around 100,000 people were killed and another 2.2 million displaced. He was found not guilty on one charge of genocide, but received a guilty verdict on each of the other 10 counts.
The trial, which opened in 2012, took place at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Netherlands. The ad hoc court was established to prosecute crimes committed during the Balkans conflict.
The European Union said the UN court’s decision to uphold Mladic’s life sentence “brings to an end a key trial in Europe’s recent history for war crimes, including genocide, which took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”