Saturday, June 4, 2011
Ratko Mladic, the leader of the Bosnian Serb forces during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, made his first appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) yesterday. In a 37-page indictment, he is accused of genocide, extermination, murder and other war crimes and crimes against humanity. He refused to enter a plea. According to a UN Press Release, "When asked if he was ready to enter a plea, Mr. Mladic replied that he wanted more time to consider 'these obnoxious charges,' adding that he would need more than a month given 'these monstrous words' in the indictment." He is scheduled to appear before the ICTY again on July 4.
Mr. Mladic had evaded capture for 16 years and was finally arrested on May 26. He was transferred to the ICTY at the Hague in the Netherlands last Tuesday.