Ratko Mladic on plane to Hague tribunal

The Serbian justice minister has confirmed Ratko Mladic is on plane on his way to The Hague.





Snezana Malovic says the process of extraditing Mladic to the UN war crimes tribunal "has started."



Judges earlier rejected Mladic's appeal to stop the extradition just hours after it was received.



Mladic's defence had argued the 69-year-old is not mentally and physically fit to stand trial.



Mladic is charged at the tribunal for atrocities committed by his Serb troops during Bosnia's 1992-5 war.



They include the notorious Srebrenica massacre that left 8,000 Muslim men and boys dead - the worst atrocity against civilians in Europe since the Second World War.



Earlier Mladic was briefly released from the jail cell, travelling in a secret high-security convoy to a suburban cemetery where he left a lone candle for the daughter who killed herself during Bosnia's bloody ethnic war.



The 69-year-old former Bosnian Serb general accused of some of the worst horrors of the 1992-5 war was accompanied by a convoy of several armoured vehicles on a swift and quiet trip, Mr Verkaric said.



At the black marble grave, Mladic left a lit candle and a small white bouquet of flowers with a red rose in the middle.



"We didn't announce his visit to the grave because it is his private thing and because it represented a security risk," Mr Vekaric said. "The whole operation lasted for exactly 22 minutes and passed without a glitch. He was at the grave for a few minutes."



Mladic was arrested on Thursday in a village north of Belgrade after 16 years on the run.



His 23-year-old daughter Ana, a medical student, committed suicide in 1994 with her father's pistol. She reportedly never wrote a suicide note, but media reports at the time said she ended her life at Mladic's Belgrade family house because of depression caused by her father's role in the war.



Mladic has rejected the official investigation into his case and claimed she was killed by his wartime enemies, saying the pistol was found in her left hand, although she was right-handed.



In addition to the appeal, Mladic attorney Milos Saljic had asked for a team of doctors to examine Mladic, who is said to have suffered at least two strokes.



Mr Vekaric accused Mladic of using delaying tactics and said nothing should prevent his extradition to tribunal.



"Doctors are saying he's capable of standing trial," Vekaric said, adding that Mladic will get proper medical check-ups once he arrives to the UN tribunal's detention unit in The Hague.



The prosecutor said no one will be informed when Mladic will be transported from his prison and flown to the Netherlands "because of security risks."



Yesterday Serbian President Boris Tadic rejected speculation that authorities had known of Mladic's hiding place and delayed his arrest to coincide with a visit by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The rumours have persisted because Mladic was found living not far from the capital, Belgrade, with relatives who share his last name.



"Any such comment makes no sense," Tadic said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The truth is that we arrested Ratko Mladic the moment we discovered him."



The president also said it's time for the European Union to do its part by boosting his nation's efforts to join the bloc, arguing the arrest of Mladic proves it is serious about rejoining the international fold.



"I simply ask the EU to fulfil its part," he said. "We fulfilled our part and we will continue to do so."



The EU had repeatedly said that Serbia could begin pre-membership talks only after it arrested the wartime Bosnian Serb commander. Some EU nations have already said Serbia needs to do more, including arresting its last fugitive, Goran Hadzic, who led Croatian Serb rebels during the 1991-1995 war.



Mr Tadic said Hadzic will be arrested as soon as possible.

The plane carrying Mladic pulled into a hangar after landing in Rotterdam, out of view of reporters and television cameras.



A Dutch police helicopter stood just outside the hangar's entrance, and police vehicles also pulled up nearby.



Mladic will be taken to the UN detention unit near The Hague to undergo a formal identification process. Within a few days he will be brought before a UN judge for a preliminary hearing.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea