Ratko Mladic war crime defence due to begin

Ratko Mladic war crime defence due to begin

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The defence in the trial of former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity is due to begin on Monday.
The 72-year-old is one of the most high-profile suspects to appear before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Mr Mladic denies 11 charges dating to the 1992-95 Bosnian war.He is specifically accused of a role in the massacre of more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica.
The massacre was Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II.
Mr Mladic has denounced the UN tribunal as “satanic”.
The defence argues that Gen Mladic was simply a soldier following orders.
His lawyers have described him as a self-proclaimed patriot who fought to defend his people.
The defence will also attempt to refute the prosecution’s claim that the general led a targeted campaign to ethnically cleanse parts of Bosnia of non-Serbs and make them part of a greater Serbia.
But they are expected to point out that Mr Mladic suffers from a memory disorder that makes it hard for him to differentiate between truth and fiction.
The BBC’s Anna Holligan in The Hague says that although he denies the charges, many survivors consider Ratko Mladic to be one of those most responsible their suffering.
Our correspondent says that for them, the trial is a chance to hear the truth and experience some form of justice.
The defence has been given 207 hours to present its case, the same amount of time given to the prosecution.
There is no limit to the number of witnesses the defence can call.
In the Srebrenica enclave, Bosnian Serb forces overran the UN-defended safe area, killing Muslim men and boys in July 1995.
Ratko Mladic was the general in charge of the troops. He was on the run for 16 years before being arrested in 2011 in northern Serbia, where he had been living under an assumed name.
Also being tried in The Hague is former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who like Mr Mladic is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. – BBC News

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