MOSCOW, August 22 - RAPSI. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) prosecutors requested a sentence of life imprisonment Tuesday for Zdravko Tolimir, a former Bosnian Serb army commander who has been charged in connection with his leadership role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, according to a statement released by the ICTY Wednesday.

Tolimir's indictment charged him with responsibility for the murders of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim civilians in Bosnia's Srebrenica - which was then understood to be a UN safe zone-in July 1995. According to the ICTY release, he has been charged with counts of: "genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war committed between July and November 1995 against Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica and Zepa, eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina."

According to an earlier ICTY statement, Tolimir has been further charged with having made life unbearable for the civilians living in Srebrenica and nearby Zepa, and with having forced such civilians to leave UN safe zones.

In a report issued on the massacre, the ICTY referred to it as, "the single worst atrocity committed in the former Yugoslavia during the wars of the 1990s and the worst massacre that occurred in Europe since the months after World War II. " At the time, Tolimir was serving as Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Security of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army.

According to tribunal records, Srebrenica was taken over by the Bosnian Serb Army between July 10-11, 1995. During those two days, thousands of Bosnian Muslim civilians fled for their safety to a nearby UN compound. During the next two days, over 1,000 able-bodied men were separated from their loved ones in the compound and were transported to temporary detention centers. Another 15,000, mostly able-bodied men, fled through the woods in an enormous column in order to escape to the city of Tuzla. It is alleged that on July 13, 1995, upwards of 6,000 able-bodied men surrendered to or were detained by Bosnian Serb forces. These detainees joined the others who had been taken from the UN compound. In the following weeks, these men were systematically murdered.

The ICTY has held that the massacre constituted an act of genocide, stating: "The Tribunal has found beyond a reasonable doubt that Bosnian Serb and other forces killed between 7,000 and 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys between approximately 11 and 19 July 1995. The Tribunal has established beyond a reasonable doubt that the vast majority of those killed were not killed in combat, but were victims of executions. The Tribunal has established beyond a reasonable doubt that the killings did not occur in a moment of passion, but were the product of a well-planned and coordinated operation. Finally, the Tribunal has established beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing of 7,000 to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim prisoners was genocide."