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Ratko Mladic War Crimes Trial Suspended Indefinitely Print
International Law
Written by Viara Zaprianova-Marshall   
Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:54

Mladic trial delayed after "millions of pages" not disclosed to Mladic legal team.

The deadline for disclosure was last November and despite complaints from the defense in February.

UN prosecutors for the ICTY had failed to hand over the documents by the deadline last week. Incredibly, prosecutors had over 16 years while the 70 year-old, the one-time military commander accused of orchestrating the Srebrencia massacre of 8,000 men and boys, was on the run to prepare for the case.

The presiding judge Alphons Orie said he was indefinitely delaying the presentation of evidence that had been scheduled to start later this month due to "significant disclosure errors" by prosecutors in the discovery procedure presenting evidence to defense lawyers.

The case files relate to the first 24 witnesses that the prosecution had hoped to call between 29 May and July, when the court goes into recess, reported The Telegraph.

The UN Court estimates that “millions of pages” contained in “tens of thousands of documents” were not disclosed to the defense as they should have been under the UN court’s rules.

Photo credit: Associated Press

Earlier in the morning Mladic showed some of the arrogance of his brutal old days by applauding a film showing him threatening a Dutch UN peacekeeper in the hours leading up to the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995.

Ratko Mladic led ethnic cleansing, war crimes trial told

The former Bosnian Serb commander clapped his hands in his lap as the ICTY showed 16 year old footage of him shouting into the face of Colonel Thom Karremans, whose Dutch troops were unable to prevent the first genocide on Europe soil since the Nazi Holocaust, commented the Telegraph today.

The Tribunal proceedings are being broadcasted in Bosnia where Bosnian Serbs, who are still supporting their former military commander and consider Mladic a hero, ridiculed the Court, greeting the decision with applause.

The reaction of the families of the Srebrenica's victims was quite different though. Waiting so long for justice and punishment for the atrocities committed by the Bosnian Serb Forces, the unexpected decision was a 'heartbreaking' blow.

Today, Mladic is hearing his own words used against him as UN prosecutors seek to prove his criminal intent of genocide by exposing his wartime diaries, radio intercepts and admissions s he made on television during the Bosnian war.

Evidence were being produced that Mladic acted on orders, the notorious "directive seven", from Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb president, to "create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica."

Photo Credit: Reuters

Video footage of the execution of Dino Salihovic, a 16-year-old Bosnian Muslim gunned down with other teenagers at Srebrenica, was shown at the opening of Ratko Mladic's trial.

The attempt to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community and the prevention of such has shown its challenges and failures to act in a more efficient way, nonetheless the efforts of the ad hoc Tribunals and the International Criminal Court will deliver justice, sooner or later.

Videos of Ratko Mladić Start of Trial  -16 and 17 May

Please be advised that the full videos of the start of trial of Ratko Mladić – Prosecution’s Opening Statements of 16 May and 17 May 2012 – are now available for viewing on http://www.icty.org/sid/10972