News 06 Jun 12

Mladic’s Defence Still Receiving New Evidence

The defence for Ratko Mladic, former commander of the Bosnian Serb army, amended its request for delay of the start of evidence hearing, saying it is still receiving new documents from the prosecution.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Branko Lukic, Mladic’s lawyer, emphasised in his motion to the Trial Chamber of the Hague Tribunal, that on May 31 the defence received five documents which the prosecution plans to use when examining several first witnesses. 

The defence said that it did not have the time to analyse those documents.

“Proceeding to hear evidence from these witnesses beginning 25 June 2012, based on the foregoing circumstances, would be unreasonable, and would constitute undue prejudice to the Accused and would violate his right to a fair trial,” said Lukic in the motion.

He added that the defence received from the prosecution a total of 10,000 new exhibits and documents in the last four weeks, and that the start of the evidence hearing under these conditions represented “miscarriage of justice of the highest magnitude.”

Mladic’s defence team asked the Hague Tribunal on May 31 to postpone the continuation of the trial by six months due to “continuous problems with disclosure of evidence”.

The trial of Mladic for genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of laws and customs of war started on May 16. 

The case came to an abrupt halt on May 17 when it emerged that prosecutors, due to technical error, had not disclosed full evidence to the defence. 

The Trial Chamber accepted there was an impact on defence preparation but ruled that the effect was "sometimes very small or even non-existent".

They said while a delay was justified, the case should resume on 25 June.  

Mladic is charged with acts of genocide in Srebrenica in 1995 and several other Bosnian municipalities in 1992, as well as the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats on the territories controlled by the Bosnian Serb army, shelling and sniping in Sarajevo and taking international soldiers hostages.

 

 

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Background

Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed

In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.

War in Bosnia

Key dates and events in the Bosnia war.

Ratko Mladic: The Force Behind the Srebrenica Killings

The Bosnian Serb commander’s role in the genocide committed in Srebrenica is described in detail in many indictments and verdicts pronounced before local and international judicial institutions.

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