Mladic prosecutor will not renew bid for separate trials

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The prosecutor in Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic's case said Wednesday he would not appeal a court decision denying two separate war crimes trials, one focused on the Srebrenica massacre.

"We are in a system where the final say is to the judges, and having different opinions is no ground to appeal, you need a legal basis," Serge Brammertz told reporters.

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

Among other charges, the 69-year-old former general 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."

Brammertz had argued that "two short trials instead of a long trial is the most efficient, the best way to manage this case", with the Srebrenica trial to be heard first.

On Wednesday he said Mladic's health was "an area of concern" and stressed that he had no idea when the trial would start.

"It will, I presume, begin next year, but before the summer, after the summer? We don't know," he said.

© 2011 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • iko posted:

    on 20th October 2011, 10:19:12 - Reply

    Pity, could be another Milosevic outcome.