Mladic extradited to The Hague after losing appeal
Wednesday 01 June 2011
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.
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Ian Watkins: Police probed over earlier allegations as paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences
DNA from a 50,000 year old toe shows Neanderthals were highly inbred
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£500 - £680 per day: Harrington Starr: Murex Business Analyst - 1000 CHF per d...
£35000 - £42000 per annum + excellent company benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group:...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Capita Education Resou...
£39000 - £425000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Newly Qualified ...