Ex-Bosnian Serb Military Leader Removed from Court in The Hague

The head of the Bosnian Serb military during the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ratko Mladic, was removed from court during a hearing today after constantly quarreling with the judge.

The Dutch judge Alfons Orie (63) ordered Ratko Mladic out of the court room today after he tried to speak  several times and was ordered by the judge to stay silent. In the absence of a plea from the defendant the court entered a plea of “not guilty”. Mladic said that he will not take part in the further proceedings.

Mladic, born in 1943, held the position of commanding general IX. Corps in the former Yugoslav People’s Army and later became the army commander of the self-declared ‘Republika Srpska’ in the Serbian part of Bosnia-Herzegowina.

Mladic is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, in addition he is charged for being responsible for taking UN peacekeeping troops hostage and finally for being responsible for a coordinated sniper campaign against civilians in Sarajevo (better known as ‘Sniper Alley’).

He became notorious with the Srebrenica Massacre, where under his command at least 8,000 men between 12 and 77 in the beleaguered town of Srebrenica were killed by Bosnian-Serb forces in July 1995. This act is considered the most serious war crime in Europe since 1945.

(Sources: BBC, International Criminal Court; 4 July 2011)


About Johann Brandstätter

Photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bulgaria, working mainly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Conflicts & crises, social and environmental issues, defense & military, travel, transportation.
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