‘Butcher of Bosnia’ Mladic trial to resume Monday
The trial of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic will resume next week after being suspended when Mladic fell ill, the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal said Friday.
The 70-year-old was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after falling ill during his trial on Thursday, though his lawyer, Branko Lukic, told AFP later the same day that his client was already feeling better.
Mladic was not however in court for Friday’s hearing at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.
Judge Alphons Orie adjourned proceedings, after telling the prosecution’s second witness, David Harland, a UN political advisor during the war, he would like to see him on Monday.
Harland had originally been scheduled to continue his testimony on Friday.
The trial had only resumed Monday with the prosecution’s first witness testimonies, after being abruptly suspended May 17 at the request of the defence.
Mladic is being tried for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war that claimed 100,000 lives and displaced 2.2 million people.
He is accused of having masterminded a criminal plan to rid multi-ethnic Bosnia of Croats and Muslims and of having a hand in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II.
Mladic faces charges relating to the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, during which Bosnian Serb troops slaughtered nearly 8,000 Muslim men and adolescents.
He denies all the charges, but could face life in prison if convicted.
On the run for 16 years, Mladic was arrested May 26 2011 at a relative’s home in northeastern Serbia. He has complained regularly of health issues since he first appeared before the ICTY in June 2011.
The health scares have prompted groups representing the families of Srebrenica victims to voice concern that Mladic might die before his trial is concluded.
Mladic’s one-time mentor, former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, died in The Hague in 2006, four years into his own war crimes trial.