Mladic slams 'obnoxious' charges, refuses to plead

3rd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Wartime Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic refused to enter a plea to genocide and war crimes charges in a UN court on Friday, denouncing the allegations against him as "obnoxious".

"I would like to read and receive these obnoxious charges against me. I want to read it with my lawyers," Mladic said on his first appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia since his arrest last week after 16 years on the run.

"I need more than a month for these monstrous words that I have never heard of," the ex-general said of the claims, telling a judge he would delay entering a plea.

Judge Alphons Orie set July 4 as the date for Mladic's next appearance, by when he will be required to enter pleas on the 11 charges against him.

Failing to do so, an automatic not-guilty plea will be entered on his behalf.

The 69-year-old is accused of masterminding the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys -- Europe's worst mass killing since World War II -- and the 44-month siege of the capital Sarajevo from May 1992 in which 10,000 died.

© 2011 AFP

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