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Mladic Set to Boycott War Crimes Hearing

Ratko Mladic (File)

Ratko Mladic (File)

Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic plans to boycott a scheduled court appearance Monday at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

A lawyer for Mladic said Sunday that the former Bosnian Serb military commander is refusing to appear because the court has not yet approved his defense team.

Mladic, who is accused of war crimes in the three-year Bosnian war that ended in 1995, is scheduled to enter a plea in Monday's hearing. If he does not appear, the court will likely enter a "not guilty" plea for him.

The court has not formally commented on Mladic's announcement.

Mladic is accused of orchestrating the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys, Europe's worst mass killing since World War II, and the 44-month siege of Bosnia's capital city, Sarajevo, in which 10,000 people died.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

He was arrested in Serbia in May after being a fugitive for 16 years.