Zdravko Tolimir, a Bosnian Serb general who played a key role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, was sentenced to life in prison by the UN's Yugoslav war crimes court on Wednesday.
Tolimir, who was caught in Serbia in 2007 after two years in hiding, was military commander Ratko Mladic's "right hand," the Hague judges said, BBC News reported.
The 64-year-old former intelligence chief was found guilty of planning and overseeing the murders of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the town of Srebrenica during nationalist Serbs' ethnic cleansing campaign in the 1990s, Reuters reported.
The court in the Hague, Netherlands, said that "the harm inflicted upon these men rises to the level of serious bodily and mental harm and constitute acts of genocide," CNN reported.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the killings constituted Europe’s biggest single massacre since World War II.
The Serbs were fighting to have their own state in Bosnia, and specifically targeted Muslims and Croats, according to Reuters. The bloody 1992-95 war left around 100,000 people dead.
Tolimir's trial is one of 12 criminal proceedings being investigated by the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, CNN reported. So far, 161 people have been indicted for "serious violations of humanitarian law" in the 1990s and early 2000s.
"We look towards the future, where we can live together with love, not hatred," Munira Subasic, president of the Mothers of Srebrenica victims' association, told Agence France Presse of the verdict, adding that it was "good for the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina".
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