News 13 Jun 16

Last Mladic Trial Witnesses to Start Testifying

The trial of Ratko Mladic before the Hague Tribunal continues following a break that lasted more than a month due to defence difficulties in bringing witnesses to court.

Justice Report
Ratko Mladic. Photo: ICTY

The last witnesses for former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic’s defence are due to testify by the end of this week, Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz told the UN Security Council last week.

Brammertz said the presentation of evidence should be completed by the end of the week and the judges might hear prosecutors’ and defence lawyers’ closing statements in the autumn.

Among them is Russian officer Colonel Andrei Demurenko, who was in charge of the headquarters of the UN protection force UNPROFOR in Sarajevo in 1995.

Demurenko, who was also a defence witness at the trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, said the Republika Srpska Army could not have fired a projectile that killed 43 and wounded 75 people at the Markale open market in Sarajevo in August 1995.

According to the prosecution, the Republika Srpska Army led by Mladic was responsible for the attack.

The former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army has been charged with genocide in Srebrenica, with the persecution of Muslims and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, which reached the scale of genocide in six municipalities, terror against the local population in Sarajevo and taking UNPROFOR members hostage.

Mladic was arrested in Belgrade in 2011, after 16 years on run. The trial started in 2012 and has been interrupted several times due to his poor health.

Hague Tribunal President Carmel Agius told the UN Security Council that the first-instance verdict against Mladic should be pronounced by November 2017.

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