Mladic extradited to The Hague after losing appeal

Ratko Mladic arrived in The Hague last night to face war crimes charges after a Belgrade court rejected his appeal against extradition.

Mladic was driven from his jail cell at Serbia's war crimes court to Belgrade's Nikola Tesla airport within hours of his transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) receiving the green light from Serbia's Justice Minister, Snezana Malovic. The court and the road to the airport were closed and heavily guarded as a group of vehicles, including jeeps and police vans, sped the former Bosnian Serb army commander to a waiting Serbian government plane during what could be the 69-year-old's final moments on Serbian soil.

Mladic's lawyer Milos Saljic had filed an appeal against his extradition yesterday morning, claiming that his client was unfit to face trial and needed urgent medical attention. The plea, widely seen as a delaying tactic, was rejected immediately, allowing Ms Malovic to sign the extradition order.

Mladic has been indicted by the ICTY on 15 charges related to the killing of around 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995 and the 1,400-day siege of Sarajevo, during which 10,000 civilians died.

Despite the appeal, Mladic, his family and supporters have been resigned to his extradition. Early yesterday, he was allowed to visit the grave of his daughter Ana. Heavily guarded by armed security personnel and accompanied by a convoy of armoured vehicles and an ambulance, Mladic left a single candle and a small bouquet of flowers on the black marble memorial.

Ana was found shot dead in the family home in the hillside Belgrade suburb of Banovo Brdo in 1994, apparently having committed suicide using her father's pistol due to depression caused by her father's role in the Bosnian war. Mladic has always insisted that she was murdered by his enemies.

Belgrade was calm as the plane carrying Mladic lifted off, with little sign of a repeat of the nationalist protests that turned violent on Sunday night, leading to dozens of injures and more than 100 arrests. Instead, thoughts are already turning to Serbia's future.

The arrest has widely been seen as a major step towards Serbia's EU accession process. Failure to capture the alleged war criminal has been a major sticking point between Brussels and Belgrade for several years, particularly as there are widespread suspicions that Serbia was turning a blind eye to Mladic's whereabouts.

The Serbian President Boris Tadic, who has taken much of the credit for Mladic's capture outside Serbia, called in an interview on Monday for the EU to "fulfil its part" in supporting Serbia's accession bid. Serbia has signed a stabilisation and association agreement with Brussels and applied for official candidacy status in December 2009. However, it has not formally been accepted as a candidate, unlike the former Yugoslav countries Croatia, Macedonia and Montenegro, and Turkey. Croatia is expected to finalise its accession treaty next year.

Serbia's candidacy bid is due for review by the European Commission in October. Mr Tadic said that his government is "demanding that Serbia, just like Croatia, simultaneously be given the date for the start of the entry talks and not just the candidate status" as Mladic's arrest has left "no obstacles".

However, Bratislav Grubacic, a Serbian journalist and analyst, told The Independent that Serbia's road to the EU would be a long one, given the need for judicial and economic reform. Another alleged war criminal wanted by the ICTY, Goran Hadzic, is still on the loose. "Full membership and all its benefits will not come for eight to 10 years – probably not before 2020. Croatia officially became a candidate in 2003 but won't join until early 2013," Grubacic said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser