Ratko Mladic is a mass murderer who ordered the unlawful execution of thousands of civilian Bosniaks in Srebrenica.

On May 26, 2011, he was arrested by agents from a democratically elected Serbian government.  Now, he will be extradited to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands to stand trial for his war crimes.

Will Mladic, the man who systematically ordered the execution of thousands of people, be executed himself?

The answer is no because the ICJ doesn’t hand out death penalties. Instead, Mladic will probably be sentenced to life imprisonment, the ICJ’s most severe sentence.

Mladic’s crimes were committed over 16 years ago. He eluded arrest by the ICJ for that period of time. Meanwhile, other people who committed war crimes in the former Yugoslavia area in the 1990s have already been caught and tried.

Ljubiša Beara and Milan Luki?, two other Bosnian Serb war criminals, have already been sentenced to life imprisonment.

 International criminals are not always spared the death penalty.

After World War II, the military courts of the victorious Allies executed a number of Nazis for war crimes. In 2004, Saddam Hussein was captured by the US forces and then sentenced to death by a US-backed Iraqi court for crimes against humanity committed in Iraq.  

Currently, all of Europe, except for Belarus, Russia, and Latvia, has banned the death penalty for all crimes. So even if Ratko Mladic were handed to the Bosnians, he would not be executed.