Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mladic taken to UN prison in the Hague

Ratko Mladic (middle)

Source: Press TV

Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army chief, has arrived in the Netherlands to be tried for genocide after Serbia's war crimes court rejected his extradition appeal against his transfer to a UN tribunal in The Hague.

A Republic of Serbia plane landed at Rotterdam airport at 1745 GMT on Tuesday, and a Dutch police helicopter took Mladic to the UN detention unit in The Hague, the seat of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), AFP reported.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Belgrade war crimes court rejected the Bosnian Serb wartime general's extradition appeal, in which he claimed he was too ill to be deported, and ruled that Mladic was fit enough to be handed over to the UN's ICTY in The Hague.

The prosecution has charged Mladic with genocide, persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts, and cruel treatment for his part in a plot to achieve the "elimination or permanent removal" of Muslims from large parts of Bosnia in pursuit of a "Greater Serbia."

He is accused of masterminding the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of between 7,500 and 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys, Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

He is also charged for his rule in the April 1992-February 1996 siege of Sarajevo, in which 10,000 civilians died.

Mladic's son Darko has said his father had told him he was not responsible for the killings in Srebrenica, committed after his troops overran the town in July 1995.

On Sunday in Belgrade, the ultra nationalist Radical Party of Serbia held a rally against the arrest of Mladic, during which about 100 people were arrested after clashes with the police.

On Thursday, Serbian authorities announced that Mladic, 69, was arrested in a relative's house in the village of Lazarevo, located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Belgrade.

Mladic had been in hiding for about 16 years.

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