News / Europe

War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague Prepares for Mladic Arrival

n this June 28, 1996 file photo Bosnian Serb military commander General Ratko Mladic, center, smiles as he visits troops to mark both the fourth anniversary of the founding of his Bosnian Serb army and St. Vitus' Day, the anniversary of the Serb defeat by
n this June 28, 1996 file photo Bosnian Serb military commander General Ratko Mladic, center, smiles as he visits troops to mark both the fourth anniversary of the founding of his Bosnian Serb army and St. Vitus' Day, the anniversary of the Serb defeat by
Lauren Comiteau

While Ratko Mladic is undergoing extradition proceedings in Belgrade, the Yugoslav war crimes Tribunal in The Hague is getting ready for his eventual arrival. The former military leader of the Bosnian Serbs faces charges there of genocide, murder and persecution for crimes that span the whole of the 1990’s Bosnian War. Our reporter is in The Hague to see how the court is preparing for its next big trial.

The television satellite vans are already setting up camp outside the Tribunal, waiting for the arrival of General Ratko Mladic.  After 16 years on the run, his arrest Thursday was welcomed by Chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz. He says he’s ready for trial and confident about its outcome.

"The crimes allegedly committed by Mladic have already been prosecuted several times already at this Tribunal," said Brammertz. "There have been several officers, generals who worked under the authority of Mladic who have already been convicted to very important sentences. So we are quite comfortable that the evidence available to us is quite convincing and we hope will convince a judge.

That evidence includes the eye-witness testimony of survivors, Ratko Mladic’s own diaries, video and audio of the General on the battlefield saying he has come to take revenge on the Turks, and the many Bosnian Serb Army insiders who testified that Mladic was the commander giving the orders.

The war crimes tribunal first indicted Ratko Mladic in 1995 on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Those charges include ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the siege of Sarajevo, taking U.N. peacekeepers hostage, and, most infamously, the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, when close to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed over the course of five days. In addition to genocide, he has been charged with persecution, murder, deportation and inflicting terror.

Mladic has already been declared fit for extradition by a judge in Serbia. His lawyers say he is in poor health and that he will appeal that decision. But once Mladic does arrive in The Hague, he will be taken to the Tribunal’s prison  and given a medical exam. Within days he will face judges for his initial appearance - where he will have to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the 11 counts against him.

Prosecutors have long maintained that Mladic was hiding in Serbia. In announcing the general’s arrest Thursday, Serbian President Boris Tadic said one chapter in the country’s recent history is closed. For Mladic, a new chapter - and what many believe will be his last - begins in The Hague any day now.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid