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Mladic to boycott court appearance

07-04-2011 17:09 BJT

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Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic is scheduled to enter a plea against charges of genocide during the Bosnian war.Earlier, his Serbian lawyer said he will not appear at the court as long as he doesn't have his own defense attorney.

Now let's cross over to the Hague,where the court is in session. The Hague was in session in good time, but the accused was absent.

According to the court's rules,if defendants refuse to enter their pleas, they are automatically awarded not guilty pleas by the judges.

Last week, the court's registry asked for more time to vet the list of lawyers Mladic has submitted to verify their qualifications and eligibility. Now they are still verifying the qualifications and eligibility of the list.

Mladic was extradited to The Hague from Serbia on May 31st after being captured following 15 years as a fugitive. His first court appearance came on June 3rd, in which he was charged. The most serious charges are for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8-thousand Muslim males and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1995, in which some 12 thousand were killed.If convicted, he faces a maximum life sentence.

Background

Mladic is accused over a campaign to seize territory for Serbs after Bosnia broke away from the Yugoslav federation in the 1990s, as the Balkan state broke up during five years of war that killed at least 130,000 people.

Hague prosecutor Serge Brammertz has said Mladic used his power to commit atrocities and must answer for it, but Serb nationalists say Mladic defended the nation and did no worse than Croat or Bosnian Muslim army commanders.

Mladic, who has said he is a "gravely ill" man, is no longer in the prison hospital and now plays chess with other detainees. He argued last month he only defended his country and people.

Lawyer Saljic said Mladic's family will now ask Serbia and Bosnia's Serb Republic to help pay for the general's defense.

But Dusan Ignjatovic, head of the Office for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, said it was unlikely Serbia would grant the request because Mladic did not voluntarily surrender to the court, a requirement necessary for his defense to be funded.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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