Mladic genocide trial to begin in March

2011-12-08 22:45

The Hague - The trial of Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic, accused of committing genocide and war crimes during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, should open in March, a judge at a UN court said on Thursday.

"The chamber expects to schedule, and I insist at this stage on the word expects, to schedule the pre-trial conference on March 26 and the opening statements of the prosecution and the defence on March 27," Alphons Orie said at a sitting of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

If the trial does go ahead as planned, it would mean Mladic facing justice 20 years after the start of the brutal three-year war between Muslims and ethnic Serbs.

Mladic's lawyer however told the court that March would be too early for the defence team to present its case while the accused himself said that he was not bothered about the trial date.

Arrested in Serbia on May 26 after 16 years on the run, Mladic is facing 11 overall counts including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his part in the 1992-95 war that killed around 100 000 people.

He has denied the charges, including responsibility for the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre when more than 7 000 Muslim men and boys were killed over a period of six days. It was Europe's worst war-time atrocity since World War II.

The court is keen to avoid the legal process becoming bogged down, aware that Mladic's boss, Serb strongman Slobodan Milosevic, evaded justice when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 2006 before his war crimes trial concluded.

In an address to the court on Thursday, Mladic said he was in no rush to see his trial begin.

Not ready

"Maybe you're in a hurry. I'm not. For me, time is of no consequence," he said.

His lawyer Branko Lukic also told the court that March was unrealistic.

"I'm afraid we won't be ready to start trial at this date," he said.

Mladic used his appearance before the court to criticise his treatment in a special detention facility since he was was captured and then brought to The Hague.

"You don't even allow my friends and supporters from Russia to visit me," he said, adding that he had lost 24kg in weight in the last few months.

Earlier in the hearing, Mladic had specifically denied being responsible for the murders of more than 30 Muslims in the eastern Bisina region towards the end of the conflict.

"I am not guilty and I have absolutely nothing to do with this," the 69-year-old said, adding that he had never even heard of Bisina. "Is it a mountain, is it a river?" he said.

The killings in Bisina, also in July 1995, were added in October to the original charge sheet.

The number of specific charges in the indictment against Mladic was slashed to 106 from 196 by the court last week.

Read more on:    international criminal tribunal  |  ratko mladic  |  bosnia  |  netherlands  |  war crimes
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

An uncomfortable election

The latter few weeks of election 2014, have seen South Africans reeling from an assault on their comfort zone when it comes to voting, writes Daniel Silke

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.