(QHA) -

Former Bosnian Serb Army General Ratko Mladic called the United Nation's Yugoslav war crimes tribunal a "satanic court" as he began his testimony as a defense witness in the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, AFP reports.

Mladic's appearance marked the historic courtroom reunion of the two alleged chief architects of Serb atrocities during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

Mladic and Karadzic are on trial separately, facing charges of crimes against humanity and genocide committed during the war.

Note: More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered and then dumped in mass graves by Bosnian Serb forces in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995, near the end of that conflict, BBC reports.

When Bosnia-Hercegovina became an independent state in 1992, Mr Karadzic declared the creation of the independent Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Hercegovina (renamed Republika Srpska) with its capital in Pale, a suburb of Sarajevo, and himself as head of state.

His party, supported by Serbian then-President Slobodan Milosevic, organised Serbs to fight against the Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia.

A vicious war ensued, in which Serbs besieged Sarajevo for 44 months, shelling Muslim forces but also terrorising the civilian population with relentless bombardment and sniper fire. Thousands of civilians died, many of them deliberately targeted.

Both Karadzic and Mladic lived under false names. Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade in 2008 after 13 years on the run, while Mladic was on the run for 16 years before being arrested in 2011 in northern Serbia.

QHA