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Karadzic tribunal to see Mladic diaries

Wartime diaries written by the fugitive former commander of the Bosnian Serb army, General Ratko Mladic, have been handed to prosecutors at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague to use as evidence against Radovan Karadzic.

Serbian security forces seized the notebooks when they raided the Belgrade apartment of Mladic's wife in February. The 18 diaries, with more than 3,500 handwritten pages, chronicle the general's activities throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

All army officers were required to keep such diaries. A document released yesterday by the court offers a glimpse of the contents of Mladic's wartime records. The motion seeking to use the diaries as evidence against Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb wartime leader, says they chronicle meetings he or Mladic held with senior allies or UN peacekeepers. They cover discussions about strategic military objectives, possible sanctions and the treatment of civilians in the Srebrenica safe haven on the eve of the massacre there of 8,000 Muslim men by Mladic's forces and Serb paramilitaries.

The motion says prosecutors expect the diaries to be "relevant" to Karadzic's ongoing genocide trial. The prosecution document describes them as "contemporaneous notes" taken by a key member of the Bosnian Serb leadership accused of orchestrating wartime atrocities such as the Srebrenica massacre and deadly siege of Sarajevo.