Mladic's health claims not a tactic - son

2011-06-04 22:50
Banja Luka - Ratko Mladic's appearance in court this week showed his failing health was genuine rather than a ruse to evade the courts, his son Darko Mladic told Bosnian Serb television (RTRS) on Saturday.

"Everyone who had chance to see (the appearance) could convince themselves that my father's health condition is bad, that it is not some tactic of foot-dragging", Darko Mladic told RTRS on the phone.

He added that it was doubtful if his father could make it through a trial.

Former Bosnian Serb army chief Mladic on Friday made his first appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia since his arrest last week after 16 years on the run.

Mladic, 69, faces 11 charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

He is accused of masterminding the Srebrenica massacre - Europe's worst mass killing since World War II - and the 44-month siege of the capital Sarajevo from May 1992 in which 10 000 died.

He was flown to the Netherlands on Tuesday to stand trial before the ICTY after Serbian judges denied his appeal on health grounds and found him fit to stand trial.

On Thursday Mladic's lawyer Milos Saljic had said that Europe's most wanted man was treated for cancer two years ago while evading arrest.

The ex-general had also suffered three strokes and two heart attacks, he said.

But court spokesperson Nerma Jelacic told journalists on Friday: "At the moment, there is no indication that his health status as such will impact the trial".

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