The Ratko Mladic verdict, which established the existence of several joint criminal enterprises, including that of the political and military leadership of Bosnia's Republika Srpska entity, clearly shows that there was an intention to commit a number of horrific crimes in the country, based on ethnic differences, Zeljko Komsic, the Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Among them is the crime of genocide. A crime against humanity, a series of war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Knowing all this, it is clear that the then political and military leadership of the Republika Srpska aimed to create an ethnically cleansed Bosnia and Herzegovina in which they would thus create a completely different environment for the realization of their political goals. Unfortunately, we are still facing them in peacetime,” said Komsic.
“If we know that the military and political leadership of the RS were convicted of a joint criminal enterprise, the consequences of which are facing the current BiH, then the actions of the current political leadership of the RS can be brought into question, which through denying of the judgments of international courts continues the same matrix but in today's peacetime conditions,” Komsic added.
“This clearly shows that Republika Srpska will never be an independent state,“ the Croat Presidency Chairman concluded.
The Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic, said that no punishment in this world would be adequate for the crimes for which Ratko Mladic was convicted because it cannot bring the murdered victims back to life, nor can it ensure full justice if the monstrosity of the crimes described in the verdict is known.
However, he added that life imprisonment is partial justice and satisfaction for the victims. It is even more important because such a man will never be free again, Dzaferovic said.
He expressed regret that the Hague Tribunal did not have the courage to convict Mladic of genocide in other municipalities, apart from Srebrenica. This, he noted, is an obvious fact which even Mladic admitted when he said that what was required of him means genocide.
“Nevertheless, the fact remains that the crimes remain in the verdict and were described as crimes against humanity. Its significance is that after the verdicts to the political leadership [of the RS] it has completed the image [of the war in Bosnia]. And when it comes to the military leadership – no one can claim anymore that the joint criminal enterprise was legitimate,” Sefik Dzaferovic stressed.
Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb army general, was sentenced to life in prison by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT), Tuesday, confirming the first instance verdict.