Mladic says too ill to attend war crimes court hearing: ICTY

10th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic said Thursday he was unable to attend a hearing before the former Yugoslav war crimes court because he was too ill.

"I am unable to attend court proceedings on this date due to illness," Mladic said in a document, published by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

"I waive my right to be present at the court on this date and give my consent for the proceedings to continue in my absence, but in the presence of my counsel," he said in a signed statement before the Hague-based court.

Nerma Jelacic, the tribunal's spokeswoman, told AFP the hearing would take place without the ex-general, charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Bosnian war of 1992 to 1995.

The man referred to as the "Butcher of Bosnia" was arrested in Serbia on May 26 after 16 years on the run and has complained of health problems at each of his appearances before the tribunal's judges.

His lawyer Branko Lukic was Wednesday quoted by the website of Bosnian daily Dnevi Avaz as saying his client's health condition was "very serious" and that he had to move around in a wheelchair.

© 2011 AFP

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