Mladic lawyer denies claims defence team will be financed by Republika Srpska.
The defence of wartime Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic is being financed by the Hague tribunal.
“We ask the [the tribunal] for the money for what we need and they approve it,” Mladic’s lawyer, Branko Lukic told Belgrade-based daily Blic.
The question of who was funding Mladic's defence came into the spotlight after his son visited Banja Luka, the capital of Bosnia's Republika Srpska, on February 7th.
When Mladic was arrested in May 2011, Republika Srpska Prime Minister Aleksandar Dzombic said his government would help with the defence, through a foundation for providing legal assistance to suspects at the war crimes court in The Hague.
But Lukic said Mladic’s defence would not take money from Republika Srpska authorities.
“Even if [Republika Srpska President Milorad] Dodik would offer to financially help Mladic’s defence, we would not accept that money. Mladic’s defence is financed by the Hague tribunal,” Lukic said.
Tribunal spokesperson Nerma Jelacic confirmed the Tribunal was financing Mladic defence team, as they had concluded that neither Mladic nor his family could provide the necessary funds.
“If there are other funds that are financing the defence of an indictee, the tribunal can reduce or terminate the funding,” Jelacic told Blic.
The Serbian government is helping the defence teams of several war crime indictees but Mladic is not eligible for this assistance as it is available only to those who surrendered voluntarily.
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