Mladic war crimes indictment to be slashed

2nd December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The number of specific charges in the indictment against Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic will be slashed to 106 from 196, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia said Friday.

"The chamber adopts the prosecution's proposals in respect of the reduction of its case and the selection of crimes for each of the charges," the ICTY said in a statement on its website.

Judges accepted the request "in the interest of a fair and expeditious trial", it said.

They also asked the prosecution to present within two weeks a new indictment against the man dubbed the "Butcher of Bosnia" listing the 106 crimes.

Mladic, 69, is facing 11 overall counts including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his part in the brutal 1992-95 Bosnian war that killed some 100,000 people.

Two sites in the Srebrenica massacre, in which more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed over a period of six days in July 1995 in Europe's worst war time atrocity since World War II, will be withdrawn from the indictment.

Some crimes committed during the 44-month siege of the capital Sarajevo that started in May 1992 and claimed an estimated 10,000 lives will also be dropped.

In October, judges refused a prosecution request to split the case to allow a separate trial for the Srebrenica massacre to speed up the proceeding and possibly ensure Mladic's quick conviction.

Mladic failed to appear for his last hearing on November 10, saying he was "too ill" to appear, prompting a judge to order a full medical investigation into his health.

He was arrested in Serbia on May 26 after 16 years on the run.

© 2011 AFP

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