‘Butcher of Bosnia’ Ratko Mladic to appear in court to hear final verdict in his genocide appeal

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More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys died in 10 days of massacre after Srebrenica was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladic on 11 July 1995.

It is the only episode of the 1992-95 war in Bosnia to be classified as genocide by two UN courts.

Serbian kidnappers had promised a prisoner exchange.

But when the future victims clambered from trucks with other Muslim prisoners, all they saw was a green mound covered with bodies.

In the following hours, first under the July sun and then, at night, through the headlights of two industrial diggers, as many as 3,000 Muslim men were captured as Serbs overran the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica.

The body of a victim of the Srebrenica massacre lies in a mass grave in Budak, some 500 meters from Potocari

The body of a victim of the Srebrenica massacre lies in a mass grave in Budak, some 500 meters from Potocari

Mladic visited a warehouse where the Muslims were being held and told the group that they would be exchanged for Serbian prisoners of war.

But instead of going to the front line, they were taken to a blistering sports hall in Krizevci, about 35 kilometers north of Srebrenica. Through the night bus after bus arrived.

The sports hall was about 600 square meters and four to five men sat in one square meter, for a total of 2,400-3,000.

The men rested on top of each other. Those who could not sit stood. Mladic reappeared on July 14, three days after the fall of Srebrenica. The general, accompanied by assistants, greeted the prisoners with the words, “Hello neighbors.”

“We started yelling at him, ‘Why are you choking us here? You’d better kill us all,” Suljic said.

Finally, the prisoner exchange would be ready. Men were given water for the first time since their arrival in Krizevci.

Then they were placed in two small trucks with 10 to 15 men per truck. As the open trucks left, they were followed by a red car.

When they arrived at their destination, they were told to get out on the grass and stand with their backs to the soldiers. There were two firing squads of five soldiers each, armed with automatic rifles.

A mass grave on a hill overlooking the Memorial and Cemetery in Potocari, which is still under consideration by the ICMP (International Commission for Missing Persons in the former Yugoslavia)

A mass grave on a hill overlooking the Memorial and Cemetery in Potocari, which is still under consideration by the ICMP (International Commission for Missing Persons in the former Yugoslavia)

Between the shots, a Serbian soldier walked between the bodies and killed the still moving one with a pistol shot to the head.

Ten meters away, an industrial digger was preparing a mass grave. Group by group, trucks brought in prisoners, who in turn were shot. When it became too dark to see, the soldiers used the headlights of two excavators.

The International Red Cross has said 8,000 of the 42,000 people in Srebrenica before the fall to Serbs are still missing.

US spy photos have indicated mass graves around Nova Kasaba, west of Srebrenica. Madeleine Albright, the US ambassador to the United Nations, told the Security Council that as many as 2,700 people might be buried there.

The Serbs deny mass executions, suggesting that the remains are those of some 3,000 Bosnian government soldiers who fell defending Srebrenica.

The Serbs have rejected UN requests to enter the area, although journalists who sneaked in have found evidence of human remains.

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