Prosecutors ask to streamline case against Mladic

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War crimes prosecutors in the case against Ratko Mladic submitted changes Friday to streamline the indictment against the ex-Bosnian Serb army commander, saying it will help speed up his trial.

Prosecutors now propose that crimes on which evidence will be given against the former general should be slashed from 196 to 106.

The prosecution identified "those crimes in the... indictment... to which it will give evidence," prosecutors told the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in a document.

They added: "These selected crimes reasonably and appropriately reflect the criminal conduct of the accused and establishes a basis for conviction."

Mladic, 69, is facing 11 overall counts including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his part in the brutal 92-95 Bosnian war that killed some 100,000 people.

The new submission keeps a selection of 10 sniping and shelling incidents each against Sarajevo's residents, who were subjected to a 44-month siege that started in May 1992 and claimed an estimated 10,000 lives.

It also suggests dropping two killings involving eight victims in the massacre at Srebrenica, which Mladic has been accused of masterminding.

More than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed over a period of six days at Srebrenica in July 1995 in Europe's worst war time atrocity since WWII.

Last month 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 a quick conviction of the ailing 69-year-old.

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

The man dubbed the "Butcher of Bosnia" was arrested in Serbia on May 26 after 16 years on the run and has since his first appearance told judges he is "gravely ill."

© 2011 AFP

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