UN court slaps indictment ban on Mladic defence team

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The UN's Yugoslav war crimes court Friday ordered former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic's defence not to hand out information in the indictment to the public or press, the court said.

"The defense shall not in any way, directly or indirectly, disclose to the public any of the material provided to it by the prosecution" it said in a court decision made public.

The prosecution made the request to judges on June 3 -- and it was a "request we perform on every case," Frederick Swinnen, special advisor to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia's (ICTY) prosecutor Serge Brammertz, told AFP.

Mladic, 69, who was arrested in Serbia last month and faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity before the court "submitted a request for assignment of a counsel" said ICTY spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic on Friday.

She declined however to give the lawyer's identity.

His court-appointed lawyer Aleksandar Aleksic assisted Mladic during his first appearance before the ICTY on June 3, three days after he was transferred from Belgrade to a UN prison in The Hague.

The man once called the "Butcher of Bosnia" for his role in the 1992-95 Bosnian war in which more than 100,000 died and an estimated 2,2 million others were displaced, will appear again in court on July 4, where he will be asked to plead to the charges.

© 2011 AFP

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