Serb doctors to visit war crimes suspect Mladic

9th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

A team of Serbian doctors will visit Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic next week as he awaits trial for war crimes and genocide in The Hague, a court official said Wednesday.

"We have pinpointed the date of the visit: the Serbian team should be coming to the tribunal detention centre next week," Nerma Jelacic, spokeswoman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) told journalists.

Mladic, 69, has complained of health problems at each of his appearances before the court and asked to be examined by Serb doctors. ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said last month that his health was "an area of concern."

Mladic's lawyer, Branko Lukic, was quoted by the website of Bosnian daily Dnevi Avaz as saying that his client will be examined on November 15 and 16 by a psychiatrist, a neurologist, a cardiologist and a lung specialist, all from Belgrade's VMA military hospital.

Lukic said that the former general's health is "very bad", and that he needed a wheelchair to get around.

On Thursday Mladic is due to appear in court to plead to a further charge, the murder of more than 30 Muslims at Bisina in southwest Bosnia on July 23, 1995.

However Lukic said that he was not sure "if (Mladic) is able to attend" the hearing.

Mladic, also dubbed "the Butcher of Bosnia", already faces 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

Among other charges he is accused of masterminding the murder of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys over six days in Srebrenica in July 1995, in Europe's bloodiest episode since World War II.

Brammertz asked the court in August for the trial to be split in two -- one dealing solely with Srebrenica and the second with the rest of the charge sheet: the 44-month siege of Sarajevo which claimed some 10,000 lives, crimes committed in other Bosnian municipalities, and the kidnapping of UN personnel.

But the court on October 13 rejected the demand, saying two separate proceedings "could prejudice the accused, render the trial less manageable and less efficient, and risk unduly burdening witnesses."

The trial is expected to start in the first half of next year.

© 2011 AFP

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