Mladic’s former right-hand man dies in UN jail

THE HAGUE: Bosnian Serb general Zdravko Tolimir has died in jail in The Hague, where he was handed a life sentence for genocide in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the Yugoslav war crimes court confirmed Tuesday.

“He died overnight,” an official of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) told AFP, declining to be named. The ICTY said in a statement that Tolimir “had passed away last night in the UN Detention Unit (UNDU) in Scheveningen,” a seaside district of The Hague.

“The medical officer was called immediately and Dutch authorities have commenced standard investigations as mandated under Dutch law,” the ICTY said in a statement.

Once considered the right-hand man of Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic, Tolimir, 67, was sentenced to life in 2012 for crimes committed “on a massive scale” during the 1990s Bosnian war.

The UN-backed ICTY has “ordered a full inquiry” to be conducted by former International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda president, judge Vagn Joensen, it added.

Previous reports have said that Tolimir, who was arrested in Bosnia in May 2007 was suffering from cancer. His trial which started in July that year was interrupted several times because of his ill health.