Mladic in The Hague for War Crimes Trial

Posted June 1st, 2011 at 3:10 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic has spent his first night in an isolation cell at The Hague, where he is awaiting trial on genocide charges.

As a helicopter hovered overhead, a convoy of four black vehicles brought the 69-year-old Mladic to the prison on Tuesday.

Mladic was arrested in Serbia last week after 16 years on the run. He is now detained at the same center as his one-time political partner, Radovan Karadzic, who is currently on trial for war crimes.

Mladic has said he does not recognize the authority of the United Nations tribunal that will hear the case against him. He is accused of the massacre of 8,000 Muslim males at what was supposed to be the U.N. safe haven Srebrenica in 1995.

Mladic will make his first court appearance within days. He will be asked to confirm his identity and enter a plea to each of the charges against him, although he could decline to plead to the charges for up to a month.

Serbian authorities put Mladic on a plane Tuesday after judges turned down his appeal against extradition. Another court ruled Mladic is healthy enough to face a trial.

Before leaving Serbia, police escorted him to a Belgrade cemetery so he could visit the grave of his daughter Ana, who committed suicide in 1994.

Mladic was the head of the Bosnian Serb military during Bosnia's civil war in the early 1990s. The Hague tribunal has charged him with genocide, terrorism, and other crimes against humanity.

Serbian President Boris Tadic said Tuesday his government is investigating whether Serbian officials helped hide Mladic.

Mr. Tadic said police arrested Mladic as soon as they were informed where he was.

At least 10,000 Bosnian Serb nationalists who regard Mladic as a hero marched Tuesday in the Bosnian Serb capital Banja Luka to protest his arrest.