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Ex-Bosnian Serb General Gets Life in Prison for War Crimes

RIA Novosti

21:20 12/12/2012

SARAJEVO, December 12 (RIA Novosti) – The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague on Wednesday sentenced retired Bosnian Serb general Zdravko Tolimir to life in prison for his role in ethnic cleansing campaign during the 1992-95 Bosnian War.

The sentencing was broadcasted live on the ICTY website.

Tolimir, 64, was Assistant Commander of Intelligence and Security for the Bosnian Serb army and reported directly to General Ratko Mladić.

UN judges found Tolimir guilty of crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes as solid evidence had proved that the general was aware of the program aimed at expelling Muslims and Croats from multi-ethnic Bosnia, and he willingly participated in the project.

The ICTY said, in particular, that Tolimir personally planned and oversaw the killing of 8,000 Muslim men and boys after the town of Srebrenica was overrun by Serbian forces in July, 1995.

The general showed no apparent emotion and crossed himself three times as the verdict was pronounced.

Tolimir, who defended himself during the trial that started in 2010, have argued that the killings at Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves were part of counter-terrorist operations rather than massacres of innocent people.

The Hague Tribunal indicted Tolimir for war crimes in February 2005.

He was detained by the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in May, 2007, after having been on the run for two years. The general was immediately transferred to the ICTY for pre-trial detention.

Bosnian Serb military commander Mladic and political leader Radovan Karadzic are still on trial at the ICTY for overseeing Serb atrocities during the conflict, in which some 100,000 people died.

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