A United Nations court in The Hague has rejected an appeal by former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic against his life sentence for his role in Europe's worst atrocities since the end of World War II.
The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) handed down the verdict during a court session on June 8 that was closed to journalists due to coronavirus restrictions.
The judgment means the 79-year-old former general who terrorized Bosnia throughout the war will spend the rest of his life in prison. He is the last major figure from the conflict that ended more than a quarter century ago to face justice.
The ruling ends the case against the man dubbed the “Butcher of Bosnia” who had challenged his 2017 conviction for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed during Bosnia-Herzegovina's 1992-95 war.
These atrocities included the massacre in and around the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica in mid-1995 when some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb forces.
Mladic has maintained his innocence throughout the legal process.
The appeal case has been repeatedly delayed by his ill health and, more recently, by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mladic's political chief during the Bosnian War, Radovan Karadzic, is serving a life sentence for genocide.
Serbian strongman President Slobodan Milosevic died of a heart attack in his cell in The Hague in 2006 before his trial had finished.
The IRMCT deals with cases left over from now disbanded international war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.