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Mladic sentenced to life: 23 years of eDiscovery comes to an end

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, also known as the "Butcher of Bosnia”, today has been found guilty of genocide and some of the worst atrocities commited during 1990s Bosnian war. During his trial at the UN tribunal, he faced 11 charges, including crimes against humanity,

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Ratko Mladic of the massacre of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995 and the siege of Sarajevo in which more than 10,000 people died. Mladic is sentenced to life in prison.

In 1994, ICTY turned to ZyLAB in order to get help to manage the accumulation, organization, and access to evidence relating to war crimes. The collection consisted of millions of pages, electronic documents, and multi-media recordings in a variety of languages and from many different sources. As the court started, this collection was expanded with thousands of additional documents such as witness testimonies, transcripts of court sessions, reports of special investigations and depositions from defense teams.

The Mladic trial marks one of the most complex (and longest) cases. The trial started in May 2012 and the hearing of evidence lasted for over four years. During this period, the Chamber sat for 530 trial days and received the evidence of 592 witnesses and nearly 10,000 exhibits. The Chamber also took judicial notice of approximately 2,000 adjudicated facts.


Management of massive document collections

The management of this massive document collection required the deployment of a specialized system that could combine advanced multi-lingual search, eDiscovery, content analytics, content management and support the specific workflow required by the court to assess and disclose the evidence.

The case study “ZyLAB’s Deployment at the Historic UN War Crimes Tribunals” describes the depth of the technical and operational issues addressed by the UN Information Management team in the Office of the Prosecutor. The study explores how professionals and software from ZyLAB literally partnered with the UN Information Management group to achieve a groundbreaking new system in a very condensed time frame.

Today ZyLAB’s products are still used, by not only the ICTY, but also by several other war-crimes tribunals such as the courts for Rwanda (ICTR), Cambodia, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL).

ZyLAB is proud to have contributed to these historic war crimes tribunals and continues to be a technology provider of eDiscovery solutions to other organizations supporting international law and justice such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Tribunal of the Sea.