A former senior commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, Zdravko Tolimir, was convicted of genocide on Wednesday and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killings of thousands of prisoners near the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995.

Judges at the United Nations tribunal in The Hague, voting 2 to 1, said that Mr. Tolimir had been found guilty because as the army’s head of intelligence he not only knew of the plans to commit “horrific mass murder” of Bosnian Muslim prisoners but also played a pivotal role in the crime. He “deliberately participated” in the destruction of the Muslim communities under United Nations protection in the towns of Srebrenica and Zepa, the judges said.