Thursday, May 17, 2012
The trial of Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military chief, opened yesterday in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Mladic is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of laws and customs of war. The alleged crimes were committed across Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995.
Prosecutors may call more than 400 witnesses and present nearly 28,000 exhibits during the trial. They told the court that they anticipate needing about 200 hours of tribunal time to present their case.
The indictment against Mr. Mladic alleges that the 68-year-old led forces that conducted the notorious massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in the supposed safe haven of Srebrenica in July 1995. The former army chief also faces charges for the shelling of and sniping in the city of Sarajevo during the protracted wartime siege of the city. The indictment also lists more than 70 incidents of murder in 20 municipalities across Bosnia and Herzegovina, and accuses forces under Mr. Mladic’s supervision of torturing, mistreating and physically, psychologically and sexually abusing civilians confined to detention centers.
(mew) (adapted from a UN Press Release)