Mladic could be sent to war crimes court in days

Serbia may send Ratko Mladic to face genocide charges in The Hague within four days, a justice official said on Monday, despite rallies by nationalists angry at the Bosnian Serb general's capture after 16 years on the run.

Security agents tracked the fugitive general to a messy Serbian farmhouse belonging to his cousin on Thursday. In so doing they removed a big obstacle to Serbia' bid to join the European Union.



Tha arrest angered nationalists in Serbia and the Bosnian Serb half of Bosnia.



In Bosnia, several thousand supporters rallied on Monday waving Serbian flags and carrying banners reading: "Keep on, our general, we are with you!" and "Shame on you Tadic! You you did not betray Mladic, you betrayed the Serb people," a reference to Serbia's President Boris Tadic who ordered Mladic's arrest.



Mladic's lawyers argue the 69-year-old, found alone surrounded by medications, is mentally unstable and thus too sick to be extradited to the International Criminal Tribunal.











The Hague court indicted Mladic for genocide in the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica during the 1992-95 Bosnian war in 1995.



For seven years after that, Mladic lived openly at his home in Belgrade and often received visitors, Aleksandar Mihailovic, a friend who lived down the street, said on Monday.



"He lived normally until 2002," said Mihailovic, who built Mladic's house, told Reuters. "He loved songs, rakia, eating - he was a very normal person."



A Belgrade court ruled on Friday that Mladic was fit enough to face trial and served extradition papers. His lawyer Milos Saljic said he plans to appeal that decision "to prolong the extradition as long as possible".



He told reporters he had mailed it late in the day. "I expect the court to review the appeal tomorrow, at the earliest," he said.



The appeal court must respond and forward the final decision to the Justice Ministry which will then rule on the extradition straight away, a process that would take up to four days, said Slobodan Homen, a state secretary.



Vladimir Vukcevic, Serbia's chief war crimes prosecutor said: "I have seen Mladic and I believe he is fit for trial ... We will now focus on uncovering the entire network of his helpers."



Many Serbs admire Mladic as a dedicated military man who did not seek to enrich himself during the bitter civil war.



In Bosnia, demonstrators carried pictures and banners reading: "Keep on, our general, we are with you!" and "Shame on you Tadic! You you did not betray Mladic, you betrayed the Serb people," a reference to Serbia's President Boris Tadic who ordered Mladic's arrest.



Bosnian Serb Republic President Milorad Dodik said he would raise funds to provide legal assistance to Bosnian Serb war crimes indictees, and expressed his support for the protests.



"The Serb Republic army was an expression of will of the Serb people in Bosnia which defended their survival, homes and rights," he said. "I will do my best to preserve the dignity and reputation of the Serb Republic army, which was an honourable military formation of utmost importance for Bosnian Serbs."



Bosnia remains deeply divided along ethnic lines.



Mladic's friend Mihailovic said the siege of Sarajevo, in which 10,000 died, was a legitimate military operation and as commander responsible for the entire war, Mladic could not have known about the details of the Srebrenica massacre.



He agreed to speak out after receiving the blessing of the Mladic family and some of his arguments could foreshadow the general's defence strategy. Srebrenica survivors say they saw Mladic moments before the executions.



Serbian authorities said they detained 180 people who had attacked police and injured 32 officers in Belgrade during a pro-Mladic rally on Sunday organised by the Serbian Radical Party, whose leader is on trial in The Hague.



Many of those at the rally were young people, some not even born during the Bosnian war.



Mladic's son and grandchildren, who live in Belgrade, visited him in prison on Monday. At the Sunday rally, Darko Mladic said his father was a defender of his people.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
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
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

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Assistant Marketing & PR Manager

£16 - £17 per hour: Ashdown Group: Marketing & PR Assistant - Kentish Town are...

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Systems Developer Technical Lead

£65000 - £70000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment