Saturday 22 July 2017

Ratko Mladic removed from war crimes courtroom

Mladic is demanding the power to choose his own defence team. Photo: Getty Images
Mladic is demanding the power to choose his own defence team. Photo: Getty Images

INDEPENDENT.IE REPORTERS

Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic was removed from a courtroom in the Hague this morning on the orders of the Judge after he disrupted the reading of charges against him.

The former Bosnian Serb army chief had earlier warned that he planned to boycott today’s hearing at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, where he is facing charges including genocide.

Judge Alphons Orie refused his application for a delay in the hearing saying there was no medical reason for it not to go ahead.

At one stage in the hearing Mladic taunted the judge with the words: "Who are you? You're not allowing me to breathe." He added: "You want to impose my defence, what kind of a court are you?"

The hearing was adjourned after less than half an hour when the judge ordered Mladic to be removed from the courtroom for refusing to remain quiet.

In Mladic’s absence not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf against the charges.

Mladic (69) is demanding the power to choose his own defence team, his Serbian lawyer Milos Saljic said.

The court in The Hague, Netherlands has asked for more time to vet the list of lawyers Mladic has submitted to verify their qualifications and eligibility.

Saljic said that Mladic wants him and a Russian lawyer.

Mladic was extradited to the tribunal from Serbia on May 31 after being captured following 15 years as a fugitive. He is charged with orchestrating atrocities committed by Serb forces throughout the Bosnian war of 1992-95.



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