Ratko Mladic genocide halted due to poor health

 

Ratko Mladic's genocide trial was halted today for a second day running because the former Bosnian Serb military commander was undergoing medical tests and under observation after being rushed to a hospital a day earlier.

Mladic's seat in in the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal courtroom was empty as the trial briefly resumed.

Tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said this afternoon that Mladic was discharged from a hospital and sent back to his cell.

"Ratko Mladic has returned to the detention unit after medical examinations confirmed there were no abnormalities in his health status and that no treatment is required," Jelacic said in a statement. "The previous determination that Mladic is fit to stand trial therefore remains unchanged."

Mladic's lawyer said he initially feared the 70-year-old former general had a stroke when he complained of feeling ill in court Thursday, but that tests had ruled that out.

"Now we think either it's a high level of sugar in his blood or high blood pressure, since he had both higher than normal yesterday," Branko Lukic told reporters outside the courtroom. "We are hopeful that we will continue on Monday." 

However, Lukic warned that Mladic's frail health could be imperiled by his trial and hinted he would apply to further reduce the time he spends in court each week.

The complex trial, covering atrocities spanning the entire 1992-1995 Bosnian war that left 100,000 people dead, already is expected to last years and has so far had sittings scheduled for only one morning or afternoon session per day.

"There is some kind of recommendation from the medical staff as well that he should have more rest during the day and we think we should have less working days during the week as well," Lukic said. "It is too much for him. It's not only sitting and listening, it's stressful too. Obviously, it did affect him."

Lukic's concerns raise the specter of the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, which had to be aborted without a verdict when he died in his cell of a heart attack in 2006.

Milosevic's trial dragged on for four years in part because of his ill health repeatedly holding up proceedings.

The leader of a group that represents family members of some of the 8,000 Muslim men killed in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre said she hoped Mladic would survive.

"We wish him a good recovery. We pray to God that he gets well because if he dies, justice will die with him and the victims will be betrayed again," said Munira Subasic, the head of the Mothers of Srebrenica group. "We need him to be convicted. We need it for our own history. We do not want the Milosevic situation to be repeated."

Mladic also has had poor health during his 16 years as a fugitive from international justice and since his arrest last year and transfer to a cell in The Hague.

Since arriving in the Netherlands, Mladic has undergone surgery for a hernia and been treated for other ailments including a kidney stone and pneumonia.

But as witness testimony at his long-awaited trial got under way this week he looked healthier than at any time since his arrest.

Fearing a similar scenario to Milosevic's aborted trial, prosecutors last year unsuccessfully applied to judges to split Mladic's trial into two separate cases, fearing his health was too fragile for such a lengthy case.

Prosecutors proposed trying Mladic first for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, for which he is accused of genocide, before starting a separate trial on charges of masterminding other Serb atrocities throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war that left 100,000 dead.

Mladic denies any wrongdoing during his time as leader of the Bosnian Serb military, arguing that his forces were defending Serb interests.

The trial is scheduled to resume on Monday and continue for the remainder of the week before pausing for the tribunal's three-week summer recess.

AP

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
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
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

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism