Mladic trial resumes without Mladic

4th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

At the Yugoslavia Tribunal in The Hague, a hearing in the Mladic trial continued after the suspect was removed for refusing to enter a plea to genocide charges. Presiding Judge Alphons Orie read out the 11 points of the indictment, including genocide after the fall of the Srebrenica enclave. A plea of ‘not guilty’ was formally recorded.

Judge Orie suspended the hearing for 15 minutes when former Bosnian-Serb general Ratko Mladic kept cursing and shouting, despite repeated admonitions from the presiding judge to be quiet. Mladic refused to cooperate with the proceedings because the attorneys of his choice - Serbian Milos Saljic and Russian Aleksandr Mezjajev were not there to represent him.

The tribunal had been unable to determine in time for Monday's hearing whether the two attorneys met the conditions for representing suspects at the tribunal.

Baseball cap Mladic clashed with the judge right at the start of the hearing, when Mr Orie asked him twice to remove his baseball cap. The presiding judge eventually asked the bailiffs to ‘assist’ Ratko Mladic.

Mr Mladic also kept talking when others were speaking. Later, Mr Mladic once again started talking about his cap, which he said he needed, “because his head felt cold.” The former general, who may have suffered a stroke, said: “Half my body is not functioning.”

Judge Orie criticised the suspect for not granting the tribunal access to all his medical records. He said Mr Mladic would be allowed to wear a cap if doctors at any point in the future would decide a cap was necessary for medical reasons.

Attorneys Ratko Mladic refuses to have anything to do with the attorney that was assigned to him by the court. The former Bosnian-Serb military leader has requested a one-month suspension of the trial. He wants to use that period to prepare his defence with the assistance of his son and his Russian and Serbian attorneys.

Mr Mladic’ court-assigned Serbian attorney Aleksandar Aleksic asked the judges to postpone the hearing because he could not properly represent his client, as he refuses to communicate with him. However, the presiding judge decided to allow the hearing to proceed.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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