Mladic lawyer 'wants more time' in warcrimes case

10th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic's lawyer asked the UN war crimes court Friday to give him more time to prepare a response after prosecutors asked judges to stop the attorney from talking to the public and the press.

"The Duty Council seeks a decision from the Trial Chamber... to grant a two week extension of time for filing a response to the 'Prosecution's motion for Protective Measures for Victims and Witnesses and Documentary Evidence'," Aleksandar Aleksic said in papers filed before court.

The prosecutor's office at The Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) filed a motion to ask the court at Mladic's first appearance last week to stop Aleksic from speaking to the public and the media.

"The Defence should be prohibited from disclosing to the public material disclosed to it by the Prosecution," the June 3 motion said of Aleksic, Mladic's court-appointed defence council.

"The prosecution does not provide this information so it can be provided to the public and the media," it added, saying public disclosure of the information could compromise the security of victims and witnesses.

Court spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic could not comment Friday on the reasons why the original motion was filed, but confirmed a decision by a three-judge bench was expected soon.

Mladic, 69, once Europe's most wanted man for his part in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, made a first appearance at the ICTY following his arrest and transfer from Serbia last month.

He is currently being held at a nearby UN detention unit inside a Dutch prison in The Hague and will appear again on July 4, where he will be facing charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

© 2011 AFP

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