UN: Mladic Trial Delayed Until May

Posted February 15th, 2012 at 2:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal has announced a six-week delay in the trial of former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic to give the defense more time to prepare its case.

The United Nations court said in a statement Wednesday that the trial will begin on May 14 instead of the original start date of March 27. Mladic's defense team had requested that the proceedings begin in October in order to give it time to review the evidence prepared for the trial. The Hague-based court said the defense would be “sufficiently prepared” to start ahead of that date.

The 69-year-old Mladic is on trial for genocide and war crimes committed in the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has been accused of crimes against humanity, including planning the death of 8,000 Muslim men and boys over a six-day period in 1995. Mladic denies the charges.

If convicted, Mladic could be sentenced to life in prison.

Authorities located Mladic last May and extradited him to The Hague after 16 years on the run.

The former Bosnian Serb military chief's health is deteriorating, but the court has rejected the defense's request for short court sessions. The statement said the court is “not convinced that the accused's health condition requires modification of the daily and weekly sitting schedule.”