News / Europe

Judge Says Mladic Fit Enough to Face Hague Trial

General Ratko Mladic (c) arrives at special court in Belgrade, May 26, 2011
General Ratko Mladic (c) arrives at special court in Belgrade, May 26, 2011

Ratko Mladic is in good enough health to go on trial at The Hague, a judge ruled Friday. Mladic was Bosnian Serb wartime general and is accused of committing genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity during the Bosnian civil war.

Mladic has three days to contest Friday’s decision that he is fit to be extradited to stand trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

His son, Darko Mladic, said Friday that his father is not in good health.

He told reporters that his father should be transported to a hospital to get medical help and that his father believes he is not guilty of the war crimes charges against him.

Ratko Mladic led the Bosnian Serb forces in the early 1990s and is accused of having orchestrated the siege of Sarajevo, which lasted almost four years, and the massacre at Srebrenica in 1995 where some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed.

Mladic was indicted by the United Nations the same year but it took another 16 years before he was captured.

He was found in a farmhouse owned by his cousin in a small village about 100 kilometers from the Serbian capital, Belgrade. A government minister said he looked pale as if he had stayed indoors for a long period of time and that he was armed but did not resist arrest.

James Ker-Lindsay, an expert on southeast Europe at the London School of Economics, says within the region there has been a mixed reaction to the arrest.

“Amongst Bosniaks, the Bosnian Muslims, there's delight that he has been arrested. Bosnian Serbs, some are angry. They see him as a savior. But I think on the whole, amongst Serbs more broadly speaking, there is a sense of resignation about this,” he said.

A sense of resignation, he says, because Mladic’s arrest has set Serbia on course to join the European Union. The European bloc had made the capture of Mladic a precondition of Serbia joining the EU.

If Mladic is extradited to The Hague, he will be joining Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, who was captured in 2008 and is now on trial.

Former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic also went on trial at The Hague, but he died in custody before his trial ended.

Ker-Lindsay says that trial progressed quite slowly, but prosecutors hope Mladic would be easier to convict.

“They hope it will be easier to prosecute Mladic because the range of crimes that he is alleged to have committed is less than that of Milosovic. Plus also, I think there is an assumption that it's far easier to trace a line of command, if you like, between the atrocities that were committed in Srebrenica and direct orders handed down by Mladic,” said Ker-Lindsay.

Mladic’s lawyer said Friday that he would appeal the decision to extradite Mladic to The Hague. He said Mladic is not fit to attend court sessions or to provide adequate defense for himself.

Mladic’s arrest has been welcomed by the international community. Russia has called for an impartial trial. 


Ratko Mladic on Dipity.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid