News 03 Oct 17

Serbia Offers Guarantees for Mladic’s Temporary Release

The Belgrade authorities said they will guarantee that Ratko Mladic will return to his trial at the Hague Tribunal if he is temporarily released for medical treatment in Serbia.

Filip Rudic
BIRN
Belgrade
Ratko Mladic in court in The Hague. Photo: Beta.

The Serbian Justice Ministry said on Monday that the government had offered guarantees to the Hague Tribunal to allow the former Bosnian Serb Army commander Ratko Mladic, who is standing trial for genocide and other wartime crimes, to be temporarily released from custody for treatment.

Mladic was previously denied temporarily release in May 2017, when he asked to have medical treatment in Russia.

The Hague prosecutors argued that there was a risk he might abscond before the verdict in his trial.

Mladic’s lawyers and family formally asked the Serbian government on September 5 to provide the guarantees to the Hague Tribunal that are required in order to request the former Bosnian Serb Army commander’s temporary release for health reasons.

He has had several serious health problems while in detention and suffered two strokes and one heart attack. His lawyers say that his condition further deteriorated in May this year.

After receiving the guarantees from Serbia, his defence team will file a request to the Hague, and the court will rule on it.

Mladic was arrested in 2011 in the village of Lazarevo, near Zrenjanin, in northern Serbia after spending 16 years on the run.

He is now on trial in The Hague for genocide in Srebrenica, the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats throughout Bosnia, which allegedly reached the scale of genocide in several other municipalities, terrorising the population of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.

The defence and prosecution gave their closing statements in his trial in December last year.

The verdict is due in November.

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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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