Photograph by Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images.
Former Bosnian Serb Gen. Rato Mladic went on trial at the Hague on Wednesday, nearly two decades after the Bosnian conflict ended. The so-called "Butcher of Bosnia" faces nearly a dozen counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including genocide.
The BBC explains that Mladic is accused of orchestrating the 1995 killings of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica. He also faces charges related to the siege of Sarajevo, in which more than 10,000 died. The 1995 massacre in Srebrenica is seen as the climax to an ethnic cleansing campaign carried out in region from 1992 to '95 against Bosnian Muslims and Croats.
His case is the last to go on trial at the U.N.'s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The court entered in a not guilty plea on Mladic's behalf.
As the Associated Press reports, Mladic is not without his supporters. In Pale, a 20-year-old law student called the former general "our hero" as a crowd applauded his image on the screen. The lack of monolithic condemnation among those who lived through the Bosnian War offers an explanation for his behavior at the start of the trial, which included a thumbs-up gesture to the court's public gallery.