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Mladic Prosecution Rests its Case

Defence case of former Bosnian Serb army chief is expected to begin in May.
By Rachel Irwin
  • Ratko Mladic in the ICTY courtroom. (Photo: ICTY)
    Ratko Mladic in the ICTY courtroom. (Photo: ICTY)

The Hague tribunal prosecution this week officially rested its case against wartime Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic.

On March 17, a process known as 98-bis will begin, in which tribunal rules allow the accused to seek an acquittal on all counts on the grounds that there is no evidence to support a conviction. If the judges deny Mladic’s request and the defence case moves forward, it is set to begin on May 13.

Prosecutors allege that Mladic is responsible for crimes of genocide, persecution, extermination, murder and forcible transfer which “contributed to achieving the objective of the permanent removal of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory”.

He is also accused of planning and overseeing the 44-month siege of Sarajevo that left nearly 12,000 people dead, as well as the massacre of more than 7,000 men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995.

Mladic was arrested in May 2011 after 16 years on the run. His trial commenced in May 2012 and the final prosecution witness took the stand in December of last year.

Rachel Irwin is IWPR’s Senior Reporter in The Hague.