'Co-operative' Mladic awaits his day in court

Ratko Mladic will appear before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) tomorrow when the man accused of murdering up to 8,000 Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica in 1995 is expected to plead not guilty to charges of genocide.

After evading justice for 16 years, the hearing is expected to be the start of a lengthy legal process that could last until 2014. Mladic's legal team have already argued the former Bosnian Serb commander will die before the end of the trial.

Despite the legal wrangling, which was unable to prevent Mladic's speedy extradition earlier this week, officials at the ICTY said Mladic was coherent during initial interviews on Tuesday evening. The tribunal's registrar John Hocking said yesterday that Mladic had been "extremely co-operative". He said the 69-year-old suspect appeared to understand his questions and the outline of the case against him.

Mr Hocking said that a doctor who examined Mladic saw no immediate medical problems that would prevent him from being taken to the tribunal's detention unit, where he will stay in solitary confinement until tomorrow's hearing. Rarely pictured without his camouflaged army uniform and his Serbian officer's cap in the past, he was wearing a suit and tie as he stepped from the helicopter on Tuesday evening.

"I can state categorically he is not on suicide watch," Mr Hocking said in answer to a question during a press conference yesterday. "At this stage there was no need to place him on suicide watch." Mladic was quoted in the past as saying he would rather take his own life than end up at The Hague tribunal. When arrested last Thursday he had two guns but made no attempt to use them. The Bosnian ambassador to The Netherlands, Miranda Sidran Kamisalic, said Mladic was "talkative, focused and rational" when she met him at the Rotterdam-Hague airport on Tuesday evening. "He wanted to hear my name, he was interested in what city I came from, he wanted to know which district of Sarajevo I live in," she said. Mladic has Bosnian and Serbian citizenship.

More details emerged yesterday about what conditions Mladic can expect during his detention. As well as a 15 square metre cell with amenities like a TV and a computer, he will be provided with regular health care, will be able to take regular exercise. He will also have access to a spiritual counsellor and an English tutor

Cells are locked from 9pm-7.30am, while in the meantime the inmates can prepare their defence, talk to each other and even cook, if not satisfied with Dutch food. Mladic will also be allowed to have family visits that are monitored but not recorded, which will be paid for by Serbia. He will have to pay for his own defence and it is still unknown if he has appointed any lawyers.

The tribunal's chief prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, said at a press conference yesterday that the arrest of Mladic "has been long awaited" and that the crimes he is accused of have "shocked the conscience of international community".

According to Mr Brammertz, the forthcoming trial against Mladic will have "bigger political consequences than the arrest," a reference to the reconciliation between the former warring nations.

"His [Mladic's] arrest confirms that no one can count on impunity for war crimes," Mr Brammertz said. He also confirmed that steps are being taken to speed up the trial, as in the past several war crimes cases have taken years before finally coming to an end.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
News
i100
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
News
Bey can do it: Beyoncé re-enacts Rosie the Riveter's pose
newsRosie the Riveter started out as an American wartime poster girl and has become a feminist pin-up. With Beyoncé channeling her look, Gillian Orr tells her story
Life and Style
Donna and Paul Wheatley at their wedding
healthShould emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit