viernes, 27 de mayo de 2011

Mladic due at extradition hearing

 
 Ratko Mladic appears in court in Belgrade

Ratko Mladic Captured Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic is due back in court in the Serbian capital Belgrade for the resumption of an extradition hearing.

The session against the 69-year-old was halted on Thursday when his lawyer said he was in "poor physical state".
Gen Mladic, arrested on Thursday after 16 years on the run, faces genocide charges over the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
His extradition to the UN war crimes court at The Hague could take a week.
Gen Mladic was indicted in 1995 for genocide over the killings about 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys that July at Srebrenica - the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II - and other crimes.
'Delaying tactics' Gen Mladic's wife, Bosiljka, who recently said she thought her husband was dead, and their son Darko turned up at the court to visit him.
The wide, tree-lined village streets were quiet in the early morning sun, as farm workers on old bikes stopped to look at the police guard outside 2 Vuk Karadzic Street, the house where Ratko Mladic was found. One policemen, who told us he lived four doors down, said he'd never seen Gen Mladic.
Other locals say the same. The home itself is like any other on the street - a small cottage with a broken-down car in the yard and an ancient tractor, its damaged doors swinging in the wind.
Trying to film the house provoked an angry response. A man flew out swearing with fists raised - we later learned he was Gen Mladic's nephew. Some in the close-knit village were vocal in their support of their hidden neighbour, reflecting a deep sense that the world's view of the Balkans war was unfair.
The BBC's Mark Lowen, outside the court in Belgrade, asked her how her husband was, but she did not reply.
Having lived freely in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, Gen Mladic is believed to have disappeared after the arrest of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in 2001.
Following the arrest of former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic in 2008, Gen Mladic became the most prominent Bosnian war crimes suspect at large.
The arrest was hailed internationally.
On Thursday, Serbian TV showed footage of the former general wearing a baseball cap and walking slowly as he appeared in court in Belgrade.
The extradition hearing was stopped when Gen Mladic's lawyer, Milos Saljic, said his client was unable to communicate.
Mr Saljic argued that Mr Mladic - who looked frail and walked slowly during the initial hearing - was unfit to stand trial.
But a senior Serbian war crimes prosecutor said he believed the defence was exaggerating the general's health problems in an attempt to delay extradition.
Protests Reports in Serbian media suggested that one of Gen Mladic's arms was paralysed, which was probably the result of a stroke.

How war consumed Bosnia

  • WWII guerrilla leader Marshal Tito led Yugoslavia, an ethnically mixed Balkan federation
  • Tito dies in 1980; Slobodan Milosevic comes to power in 1986 and begins whipping up nationalists in Serbia, the dominant Yugoslav republic
  • Yugoslavia starts breaking up in 1991, wars erupt in Slovenia, then Croatia, followed by Bosnia-Hercegovina in 1992
  • Bosnian war in 1992-95 is bloodiest, with about 100,000 killed - Bosnian Serbs backed Milosevic plan for Greater Serbia
  • Ratko Mladic leads Bosnian Serb ethnic cleansing, driving Bosniaks (Muslim) and Croats from self-declared Serb areas
  • Bosnian Serb troops besiege Sarajevo for four years, killing at least 7,500 unarmed Bosniaks in Srebrenica in 1995
  • Atrocities also committed by some Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks 
Mr Saljic said: "He is aware that he is under arrest, he knows where he is, and he said he does not recognise The Hague tribunal."
Court officials believe he will fight the extradition.
Serbia had been under intense international pressure to arrest Gen Mladic and send him to the UN International Criminal Tribunal to the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
After the arrest, the government banned public gatherings in an effort to prevent any pro-Mladic demonstrations.
But hundreds of ultra-nationalists clashed with police in the northern city of Novi Sad, and there was a smaller demonstration involving several dozen protesters in the centre of Belgrade.
The government is now keen for a speedy extradition of Gen Mladic, whom Serb nationalists still regard as a hero, the BBC's Mark Lowen in Belgrade reports.
President Boris Tadic said Gen Mladic's arrest had brought Serbia and the region closer to reconciliation, and opened the doors to European Union membership.
'Stake-out' Mr Tadic rejected criticism that Serbia had been reluctant to seize Gen Mladic.
Graph
A spokeswoman for families of Srebrenica victims, Hajra Catic, told AFP news agency: "After 16 years of waiting, for us, the victims' families, this is a relief."
Gen Mladic was seized in the province of Vojvodina in the early hours of Thursday.
He had two guns with him, but put up no resistance, officials said.
Serbian security sources told AFP news agency that three special units had descended on a house in the village of Lazarevo, about 80km (50 miles) north of Belgrade.
The single-storey house was owned by a relative of Gen Mladic and had been under surveillance for the past two weeks, one of the sources added.
One local resident told the BBC: "I'm really surprised. "My mother lives four doors down from here and I've never seen him."
Reports that Gen Mladic had been living under the assumed name Milorad Komodic have been denied by Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic.
Serbian media say he was not in disguise - unlike Mr Karadzic, who had a long beard and a ponytail when he was captured in Belgrade three years ago.
Map