'Butcher of Bosnia' Ratko Mladic's convictions upheld by UN appeals judges

ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports as former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic's convictions for genocide were upheld by UN appeal judges

Convicted war criminal and former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic has lost his appeal against his genocide conviction.

UN (United Nations) judges decided to uphold Mladic's convictions and life sentence for masterminding genocide and other atrocities throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

The ruling will be the final verdict in the case against the man dubbed the "Butcher of the Balkans" - who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a UN war crimes tribunal in 2017.

Presiding Judge Prisca Matimba Nyambe of Zambia said the court dismissed Mladic’s appeal "in its entirety" and affirmed his life sentence.

Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic is pictured near a United Nations flag at Sarajevo in 1993. Credit: Jerome Delay/AP

Who is Ratko Mladic, the so-called 'Butcher of Bosnia'?

The former wartime leader, who spent a decade on the run before his capture in 2011, was convicted of one count of genocide over Srebrenica.

He was also found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his part in the atrocities committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Mladic is one of the few people to ever be convicted of genocide.

Now, he is a frail elderly man whose ill health delayed this final judgment.

Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic sits in court. Credit: AP

How has he divided the nation in Bosnia?

His toxic legacy continues to divide Bosnia and his dark shadow has spread far beyond the Balkans.

To Serbs in Bosnia, he is a war hero who fought to protect his people.

To Bosniaks, mostly Muslims, he will always be a villain responsible for their terrible wartime suffering and losses.

What happened in Srebrenica and why was Ratko Mladic convicted?

Mladic's conviction for genocide related to his responsibility for the murder of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995 - which was considered one of the worst massacres in Europe since the 1940s.

Judges found him guilty of orchestrating a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" to drive Muslims and Bosnians out of key areas to create a Greater Serbia as Yugoslavia tore itself apart after the fall of communism.