Lawyers acting for wartime Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic have requested a postponement of his trial, which is due to begin at the Hague tribunal next month.
In a brief for judges at the tribunal, Mladic's lawyer Branko Lukic said that the defence team had received a large number of exhibits from prosecutors which were not correctly entered electronically. This had made the search and selection of these documents difficult, Lukic said.
"These problems have made it impossible for the Defence to prepare itself for the beginning of the trial and be ready for March this year,” the brief says.
Lukic asked the tribunal to order prosecutors to submit all the evidence again, this time with all the correct data. He requested that the start of the trial be postponed until "problems with the presentation of evidence to the defence are resolved”.
At a status conference on December 8 last year to prepare for the trial, judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia asked the prosecution and defence to be ready to make their opening arguments on March 27, 2012.
Mladic's lawyers protested at the time and judge Alphons Orie said the deadline was “not set in stone” but he expected them to try to meet it.
Mladic, who was arrested in May last year after spending years on the run, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of laws and rules of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995.
The next status conference ahead of the trial is scheduled for February 23.
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