Genocide detainee Mladic in hospital – lawyer


Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic, awaiting trial in The Hague, has been admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia, said his lawyer.

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, where the former general faces genocide and war crimes charges over the 1992-1995 Bosnia war, confirmed Mladic was receiving medical treatment but said it could not reveal what for.

Mladic, 69, has frequently complained of ill health, most recently last week, since his arrest and extradition from Serbia in May, Reuters reports.

Concerned over his health, prosecutors have proposed splitting the case against Mladic into two to speed up proceedings, mindful that former Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic spent four years on trial but died in 2006 before a verdict could be reached.

Mladic’s Belgrade lawyer, Milos Saljic, told Reuters the tribunal had informed him on Monday that Mladic had been transferred to hospital, “apparently because of pneumonia.”

He said he had no further details.

In a statement, tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said, “I can confirm that he is receiving medical treatment but I am not at liberty to reveal its nature.”

Jelacic said media reports that Mladic had collapsed last week before a pre-trial hearing were “completely inaccurate.”

At the hearing, Mladic complained of pain due to a kidney stone and asked to see Serbian doctors. His lawyers say he underwent a hernia operation in August.

Mladic, who evaded arrest for 16 years, is accused of orchestrating the killing of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo in which 10,000 people were killed.

He has dismissed the charges against him as “obnoxious” and “monstrous.”