News / Europe

Mladic Goes on Trial for War Crimes

A screen grab released by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) shows former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic sitting in the courtroom in The Hague, May 16, 2012
A screen grab released by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) shows former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic sitting in the courtroom in The Hague, May 16, 2012

Multimedia

Lisa Bryant
PARIS, France - War crimes tribunals in The Hague are hearing cases against former Bosnian-Serb military commander Ratko Mladic and former Liberian president Charles Taylor.

Radko Mladic is facing 15 charges:

  • Counts 1, 2: Genocide, Complicity in Genocide for a campaign to destroy Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats.
  • Count 3: Persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds.
  • Counts 4, 5, 6: Extermination and Murder of Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats or other non-Serbs.
  • Counts 7, 8: Deportation and Unlawful Attacks for the forcible transfer of Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats or other non-Serbs.
  • Counts 9 to 14: Terror and Unlawful Attacks.
  • Count 15: Taking of U.N. Hostages.
Two decades after the start of Bosnia-Herzegovina's civil war, Ratko Mladic -- the man accused of some of its worst atrocities -- went on trial Wednesday in The Hague.  

Mladic's trial started with opening arguments by the prosecution. The former Bosnian-Serb general faces 11 counts of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. He strongly rejects the accusations, and the court has entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

Dressed in a grey suit, the 70-year-old Mladic gave a thumbs-up as he entered the court room. He appeared defiant as prosecutor Dermot Groome related some of the war's bloodiest atrocities in graphic detail, using pictures and video clips.  

One of the crimes of which Mladic is accused is a 1995 bombing of a Sarajevo market that killed more than 30 people and wounded more than 70 others. Groome read out a witness account of the incident.  

"When I got to that place, or rather a few steps before, I saw a great mess and commotion," said Groome. "There was blood all over the place, flowing in the streets. Bits of human flesh scattered around. Bits of clothing torn and scattered all over."

The prosecution claims Mladic helped mastermind a brutal "ethnic-cleansing" campaign to drive Bosnian Muslims and Croats from land that the perpetrators wanted only for Serbs. Among the most horrific charges against him relates to the killing of roughly 8,000 men and boys in the city of Srebrenica.

Captured a year ago, Mladic is the last of the major figures to face trial for the Bosnian conflict. Mladic's boss, former Bosnian-Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic, is already on trial before the Hague tribunal.  

The opening of the Mladic trial coincided with the appearance of former Liberian president Charles Taylor before another court in The Hague. In a rambling address, Taylor claimed witnesses for the prosecution had been paid and coerced to testify against him.

Judges found Taylor guilty last month of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone.  

Judges are scheduled to sentence Taylor later this month. Both the defense and prosecution are expected to appeal.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: laquachenn from: Abidjan
May 17, 2012 7:56 AM
can anAmerican President,beTtrialed fo:WarCrime?!


by: fayapoentje@hotmail.com from: Damskoville
May 17, 2012 6:09 AM
Mladic is not only responsible, but NATO is just as guilty why are they not held accountable.


by: ADEL ALSHEAR from: OSLO NORWAY
May 16, 2012 9:28 AM
THIS IS A CRIMES COMMUINST EWGSLFEA . THIS IS A CRIMES COMMUNIST EWGSLFEA . THI IS A CRIMES TIME TETW COMMUNIST EWGSLFEA .


by: Sridhar from: Chennai
May 16, 2012 7:12 AM
When will Rajapakse be tried for the genocide of Srilankan tamils during the war?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid