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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora