Prosecutors demand life in jail for Srebrenica accused
Five of the men face genocide charges for the massacre.
The Hague -- Prosecutors sought life imprisonment Monday for seven top Bosnian Serb military officials accused in a UN court of the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.
"There can be no other sentence for all of these accused than life imprisonment," prosecutor Peter McCloskey told judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.
McCloskey was arguing for the maximum sentence as the tribunal's biggest ever joint trial, which started in July 2006, was drawing to a close.
Five of the men face genocide charges for the massacre. They are Ljubisa Beara, 70, a former security chief in the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS); Vujadin Popovic, 52, security chief of the VRS's Drina Corps; Ljubomir Borovcanin, 49, deputy commander of a special Bosnian Serb police brigade, Vinko Pandurevic, 50, commander of the Zvornik brigade that led the attack on Srebrenica; and Drago Nikolic, 51, the brigade's chief of security.
The five stand accused of seeking "to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslim people as a national, ethnical or religious group."
The other two, Radivoje Miletic, 61, and Milan Gvero, 71, officers attached to the VRS main staff, are charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for allegedly blocking aid and supplies to Srebrenica.
All seven pleaded not guilty.
A court document says they acted on a directive of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to "remove the Muslim population" from Srebrenica by murdering all the able-bodied men.
The men's commanding officer, Radislav Krstic, was jailed for 35 years in 2004 for complicity in genocide.
Bosnian Serb forces overran the UN-protected enclave on July 11, 1995, brushing aside lightly-armed Dutch peacekeepers and executing thousands of Muslim men and boys.
Europe's worst atrocity since World War II is the only incident termed genocide by the ICTY.
The ICTY has indicted 19 people for Srebrenica of whom three, including Karadzic and fugitive Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, have yet to go on trial.
AFP / Expatica