Mladic ejected from court after outburst at judge
Tuesday 05 July 2011
Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander was removed from the courthouse in The Hague yesterday for repeatedly interrupting the judge with complaints about his treatment, during what should have been a straightforward plea hearing.
Mladic, who is accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of the massacre of more than 7,500 boys and men at Srebrenica in July 1995, argued with Judge Alphons Orie over his legal representation. He said the court was imposing "impossible conditions" on him.
"You are trying to impose impossible conditions on me – a lawyer I do not want," he said at the hearing. The judge told General Mladic it was up to the court's registry, not judges, to approve the two attorneys. After being told to leave the court, a not guilty plea will be entered on his behalf by the court.
The former commander's Serbian lawyer Milos Saljic is not accredited with the tribunal as he does not speak the working languages of the court – English or French. Alexander Mezyayev, a Russian, who has also been hired, acted as legal council for former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and advises another notorious Serb ultranationalist, Vojislav Seselj, who is also on trial before the ICTY.
When Judge Ourie moved to rule that, in the absence of a plea, the court would enter one for Mladic after reading out the charges, the 69-year-old shouted: "No, no, no! Don't read it to me, not a single word." As Judge Ourie pressed on, warning General Mladic he would be removed if he interrupted again, he stated the first charge as genocide. "No, no, I'm not going to listen to this without my lawyer," he shouted as he removed his translation earphones. "You are no court. Who are you? You're not allowing me to breathe."
After being captured by Serbian forces on 26 May, General Mladic was extradited to the ICTY, despite his claim of being terminally ill with cancer. He returned to the theme yesterday, insisting that he kept his grey cap on his head during the hearing, ignoring Judge Ourie saying that it was contrary to the court's protocol.
"I'm cold, half of my body is hurting," Mladic said snappily, after being reprimanded about the cap, but he eventually removed it.
Several hundred survivors of the Bosnian war gathered in Sarajevo to urge the court not to allow General Mladic to mock it and to pursue a fair and swift trial.
"The survivors' accounts tell enough about the scope of his crimes and the court should not allow him to turn the courtroom into a theatre," said Satko Mujagic, a prisoner of war at Bosnia's Omarska detention camp, where up to 900 Muslims were killed by the Bosnian Serb forces.
Court spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said that now that a plea had been entered, pre-trial status hearings would be held roughly every three months.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are recruitment for an Assistan...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of design...
£23000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be a part of ...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This growing successful busines...