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Entries in Ratko Mladic (9)

Wednesday
Jul202011

UN's Last Wanted War Crimes Fugitive Arrested in Serbia

ALEKSA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Goran Hadzic, the last remaining fugitive wanted by the United Nations' International Criminal Court for war crimes, was arrested in Serbia Wednesday, a high-ranking official told ABC News.

According to the official, Hadzic was nabbed near the mountain Fruska Gora.

Hadzic, the former leader of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK), is facing 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the murder of Croat civilians and the deportation of Croats and other non-Serbs by Serbian troops in Croatia during the 1991-1995 war.

He was indicted by the war crimes court in 2004.

Hadzic's arrest comes less than two months after Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander who faces genocide and war crimes charges, was captured in Serbia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul052011

Accused Bosnian War Criminal Mladic Tossed Out of Court

Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- Any hope that the trial of former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic would be free of histrionics was dashed Monday when a judge tossed the defendant out of court in The Hague, Netherlands for being disruptive.

Mladic, accused of war crimes during the 1992-95 Bosnian War, shouted over Judge Alphons Orie as he tried to enter not guilty pleas on the defendant's behalf.

Shouting "I’m not going to listen to this," Mladic argued that he would not plead to any charges without the lawyer of his choice.  Mladic also angered the judge by trying to keep his military-style cap on after being told to take it off.

Judge Orie eventually had enough of the defendant's defiance and ordered him removed from the courtroom, whereupon he entered the not guilty pleas on Mladic's behalf.

Mladic faces numerous counts of genocide and other atrocities, including charges he supervised the 1995 massacre that killed 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

Ratko Mladic Appears Before Tribunal; Declines to Enter Plea

Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague Friday, where prosecutors outlined the 11-count indictment against him for genocide and war crimes.

After the charges were read to him, Mladic, speaking through a translator, said he was a "gravely ill man" and needed more time understand them.  He refused to enter a plea to the charges, which he called "monstrous" and "obnoxious."

"I was just defending my country," Mladic said.

Mladic was indicted by the United Nations tribunal for war crimes that include the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia, the establishment of concentration camps in northwest Bosnia, the three-year siege of Sarajevo, the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO airstrikes, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

He now has 30 days to review the charges and enter a plea.  If he does not, the tribunal's judges will enter not guilty pleas for him.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 4.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun012011

Ratko Mladic to Appear Before War Crimes Tribunal Friday

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander who faces genocide and war crimes charges, will appear before judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Friday, according to a spokeswoman for the tribunal.

During his appearance, Mladic will be asked to formally confirm his identity and enter a plea to each of the 11 charges against him.

Mladic was indicted by the United Nations tribunal in The Hague for war crimes that include the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia, the establishment of concentration camps in northwest Bosnia, the three-year siege of Sarajevo, the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO airstrikes, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May312011

Ratko Mladic's Extradition Appeal Rejected

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Ratko Mladic's appeal to be transferred to a United Nations court, where he faces genocide and war crimes charges, was rejected by Serbian judges on Tuesday.

Serbia's deputy war crimes prosecutor, Bruno Vekaric, told ABC News that Mladic's extradition is expected to come shortly.

Upon arriving at The Hague, Mladic will be taken to a holding cell located on a different floor from where other war crimes suspects awaiting trial are being held, Nerma Jelacic, a spokeswoman for the war crimes tribunal, told ABC News.  He will be given his indictment in Serbian and a list of possible defense lawyers.

The former Bosnian Serb military commander will then undergo a standard medical checkup, at which time the court will issue an official health bulletin and "provide Mladic with adequate care if needed," Jelacic said.

Within 24 to 48 hours of his arrival, Mladic will appear before the court to enter his plea before the three-member panel of judges.

The president of the tribunal, Mehmed Guney, said "the trial could last between a year-and-a-half and two years."

Mladic was indicted by the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague for war crimes that include the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia, the establishment of concentration camps in northwest Bosnia, the three-year siege of Sarajevo; the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO airstrikes, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May302011

Facing Genocide, War Crimes Charges, Ratko Mladic Appeals U.N. Court Transfer 

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Bosnian Serb ex-military commander Ratko Mladic on Monday appealed his transfer to a United Nations court, where he faces genocide and war crimes charges, after thousands rallied in Belgrade against his arrest.

His lawyer said he sent the appeal -- citing Mladic's health problems -- by registered delivery at 5:30 p.m. in an effort to delay the captured general's departure from Belgrade by a day. The court now needs to wait a day for the appeal to arrive, after which, under Serbian court procedures, it has three days to rule on it.

However, if the appeal is dismissed, Mladic could be on a plane as early as Tuesday night to the Netherlands and the U.N. prison for war criminals from the former Yugoslavia, which also houses Radovan Karadzic, his former commander-in-chief.

In 2008, lawyers acting for Karadzic, Mladic's co-accused, attempted a similar ploy after he was arrested. But the appeal was lost in the mail and Karadzic was extradited five days later.

"I believe the trial will not go ahead, because I do not believe Mladic will see the start of that process in front of the Hague Tribunal," Mladic's lawyer, Milos Saljic, said. "His health is in an alarming state. It is necessary that he is examined by cardiologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedists and gastroenterologists."

Bruno Vekaric, the deputy war crimes prosecutor in Serbia, believes the appeal is merely tactical, because local doctors have concluded that Mladic is well enough to withstand a transfer for trial. "The Hague has never dropped an indictment against anyone on account of health problems," Nerma Jelacic, a Hague Tribunal spokeswoman, told ABC News. "Doctors will examine him as soon as he is transferred to the Hague."

The War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague has indicted Mladic for war crimes that range from the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia, the establishment of concentration camps in the northwest of Bosnia, a three-year siege of Sarajevo to the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO air strikes to the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Prosecutors in the Hague said they are currently considering whether to merge the trials of Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. The two men face the same indictment, but Karadzic's trial began in October 2009.

Mladic was captured last week in a village north of Belgrade, some 16 years after the indictment was issued.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May302011

Serbs Protest Arrest of Ratko Mladic on Genocide Charges

Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Clashes between Serbian police and protesters broke out in downtown Belgrade Sunday as up to 10,000 ultra nationalists protested against the arrest and proposed extradition of Ratko Mladic on charges of genocide.

The protest rally was called by the Serbian Radical party, whose leader Vojislav Seselj is himself in The Hague, also facing war crimes charges.  It is the only major party to criticize the arrest of Mladic.

The demonstrations were aimed at Serbian President Boris Tadic's government, which orchestrated the arrest of Mladic in his cousin's house in the northern Serbian village of Lazarevo, after 16 years on the run.

The protests in front of Serbian parliament came as the 69-year-old former Bosnian Serb general denied, through his son, responsibility for the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica, the worst atrocity Europe has witnessed since the Holocaust.

The War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague has indicted Mladic on charges of committing a range of war crimes -- from the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia to the establishment of concentration camps in northwest Bosnia to the three-year siege of Sarajevo to the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO air strikes and, the most terrible of all, the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Despite calls for calm from the event's organizers, towards the end of the protests, groups of young demonstrators threw rocks, bottles and sticks at some of the estimated 3,000 riot policemen.

Hundreds of police operatives, some in full riot gear, some on horseback, moved in against the crowd.  Some beat protesters with batons and kicked them.  One policeman was seriously wounded, dozens of demonstrators were injured, while 100 protestors were detained, according to police.

Mladic's lawyer, Milos Saljic, meanwhile, is fighting extradition on the grounds of Mladic's mental condition, arguing he is not fit to stand trial.

Jurists at The Hague tribunal are carefully reviewing 11 indictments against Mladic, as they await his imminent extradition.  Mladic could be transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague on Monday or Tuesday, according to the acting president of the Tribunal, Mehmet Guney.

His trial on charges of genocide, including the massacre at Srebrenica, other war crimes and crimes against humanity, could take 18 months to two years to complete.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May272011

Ratko Mladic Fit for Hague War Crimes Trial: Serbian Court

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb Army general accused of orchestrating the worst massacre since the Holocaust, was deemed fit to stand trial for war crimes at The Hague, Netherlands, a Serbian court ruled Friday.

Mladic, arrested Thursday in Serbia after more than a decade in hiding, had been indicted by the International Criminal Court in the aftermath of the Bosnian War, accused of a myriad of crimes against humanity including directing the executions of more than 7,000 Muslims in the small mountain town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. An earlier indictment alleged that he was also responsible for the indiscriminate bombing of civilians, the direct sniping of women and children and the kidnapping of UN military observers and peacekeepers.

Mladic's first appearance in a Serbian court Thursday had to be cut short because the 69-year-old appeared to be in ill health. A Serbian security official told ABC News Thursday that Mladic appeared considerably aged since he was last seen in public, was pale and a series of strokes had left one arm paralyzed. Mladic's son and wife appeared at his hearing, Serbian state news said, and he is being monitored constantly by doctors.

A lawyer for Mladic said the defense plans to appeal the extradition approval on Monday, which local media said will likely focus on his health.

"We are almost certain he cannot be extradited in such condition," Mladic's son, Darko, told reporters today after visiting his father in jail. "He is in very bad shape."

He was arrested during an early morning police raid on four houses in Lazarevo, Serbia, Thursday. Though he offered no resistance, police found two guns on the property, the security official told ABC News. When police first approached, Mladic gave them a false name but was not wearing a disguise. Then, he reportedly gave himself up.

"Congratulations, I am the person you are looking for," Mladic told police, according to Serbian local media.

Haira Capic, who lost her 26-year-old son and husband in the Srebrenica massacre, said the arrest meant long-belated justice for many.

"For me and thousands of others, justice is finally being served," Capic told ABC News. "It is somewhat cold, but it is justice nonetheless...Now the healing can truly begin."

The arrest comes after years of international pressure on Serbia to hand over Mladic, who was believed to have been moving relatively freely there. The issue had become a hurdle in Serbia's bid to join the European Union.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May262011

Former Serbian Military Leader Wanted for War Crimes Arrested

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Ratko Mladic, the former Serbian military leader wanted by the Hague Tribunal on genocide and war crimes charges, was arrested in Serbia Thursday, Serbian President Boris Tadic confirmed.

According to an interior ministry official, Mladic was taken into custody in the village of Lazarevo, located about 93 miles outside the capital of Belgrade.

Mladic has been wanted by the tribunal since 1995 for violent actions he is charged with committing -- including murdering close to 8,000 Bosnian men and boys -- during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

Following the arrest, Ben Rhodes, President Obama's deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, said the U.S. was "delighted to hear" of Mladic's capture and he congratulated the Serbian police.

Speaking from Deauville, France, where President Obama is for the G8 summit, Rhodes said White House officials look forward to Mladic's trial in the Hague, and that their thoughts and prayers are with those who suffered in the region.

He added that the arrest shows "justice will come to those who carry out these types of crimes against humanity."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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