No plea to “monstrous charges”

03 June 2011 by Geraldine Coughlan

There were cries of emotion from Srebrenica survivors in the public gallery when former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic did not enter a plea to charges he called "monstrous" and "obnoxious".

After Presiding judge Alphons Orie read out a summary of the indictment on 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Mladic said he hadn't read the indictment and needed more than one month to study the document. Under ICTY rules, Mladic has been granted 30 days to consider how he will plead. The court re-scheduled the next hearing for 4 July. If Mladic does not enter a plea of guilty or not guilty within 30 days, the judges will enter a plea of not guilty, on his behalf.

Gravely ill
Ratko Mladic looked frail but alert as he saluted, coming into court. Dressed in grey jacket and baseball cap, he was helped to the dock by UN guards. He told the court he was a "gravely ill man" who needed more time to understand and prepare a "proper" defence, expressing dissatisfaction with the court-appointed lawyer, Aleksander Aleksic. He waived his right to have the indictment read out in full, saying he didn't want "a single letter or sentence" to be read out to him. Mladic may now choose his own lawyer for his trial or he may opt to conduct his own defence.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.