THE HAGUE – Ratko Mladic was a key figure in the Srebrenica massacre of Muslims and a joint criminal enterprise aimed at forcibly creating a Serb state in large portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said Monday at the beginning of their closing argument, four years after the start of Mladic’s trial.

Mladic has been charged with genocide, persecution and extermination, murder, deportation and crimes against humanity.

Mladic was in charge and took credit for a plan which “radically altered the demographic picture of the portions of Bosnia claimed by the Bosnian Serbs,” the AFP quoted prosecutor Alan Tieger as saying.

“What happened in municipality after municipality was not an unintended effect of the military campaign, but its very purpose,” Tieger said.