Saturday 16 December 2017

Mladic can be extradited to UN war crimes tribunal

Ratko Mladic says he's innocent of war crimes charges that include orchestrating some of the worst atrocities of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, his son said earlier today. Photo: AP

Independent.ie reporters

Serbian war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic can be extradited to a UN tribunal, a Belgrade Court has ruled.

A defense lawyer for the former general Mr Mladic confirmed the decision but Milos Saljic said the decision will be appealed.



Mr Mladic says he's innocent of war crimes charges that include orchestrating some of the worst atrocities of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, the suspect's son said earlier today.



"His stand is that he's not guilty of what he's being accused of," Darko Mladic told reporters earlier today.



After spending a night in jail, Mr Mladic was due back in a Belgrade court for a second hearing on his extradition to the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands on charges that include directing the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, and involvement in the relentless four-year siege of Sarajevo.



His son said Mladic suffered two strokes while on the run, has a partially paralyzed right hand and can barely speak.



Serbian war crimes prosecutors say the health issue appeared to be a tactic to delay Mr Mladic's extradition.



Mr Mladic was arrested by intelligence agents in a raid before dawn yesterday at a relative's house in a village in northern Serbia. The act was trumpeted by the government as a victory for a country worthy of European Union membership and Western embrace.



One of the world's most-wanted fugitives, Mr Mladic was the top commander of the Bosnian Serb army during Bosnia's 1992-95 war, which killed more than 100,000 people and drove another 1.8 million from their homes. Thousands of Muslims and Croats were killed, tortured or driven out in a campaign to purge the region of non-Serbs.



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