Mladic to undergo medical examination at UN prison

1st June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic will be examined by a doctor Tuesday night at the UN detention unit in The Hague where he arrived earlier to await his trial for war crimes, a spokeswoman said.

"He will undergo a medical examination later today (Tuesday) and he will be put in an isolation cell for the first few days," Nerma Jelacic of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) told AFP.

Mladic was placed in the tribunal's custody Tuesday after being transferred by plane from the Serb war crimes court in Belgrade.

He was arrested on Thursday in Serbia after almost 16 years on the run.

"We are very happy, we are very pleased that we have him in our custody," said Jelacic.

"He has been one of our longest running fugitives."

Serbian judges Tuesday rejected Mladic's appeal against a transfer to the UN-backed ICTY, dismissing his complaints of ill health and saying he was fit to stand trial for alleged atrocities committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Asked when the former general will make his first appearance before a three-judge panel -- when he will be asked to plead to the charges, Jelacic said: "The preliminary hearings are usually held within two or three days after a person's arrival so we can expect that to be some time this week".

The prosecution has charged Mladic, 69, with genocide, persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts and cruel treatment for his alleged part in a plot to achieve the "elimination or permanent removal" of Muslims from large parts of Bosnia in pursuit of a "Greater Serbia".

He is accused of masterminding the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys, Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

He is also charged for the 44-month siege of the capital Sarajevo from May 1992 in which 10,000 people died.

© 2011 AFP

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