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The trial against ex-Bosnian Serb Army commander Ratko Mladic saw its opening day on May 16 at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Mladic has been charged with “11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity…in connection with the brutal 1992-1995 Bosnian war.” According to prosecuting counsel Dermot Groome, Mladic planned to “ethnically cleanse” Bosnia by eliminating Bosniaks, Bosnian Muslims, and Bosnian Croats.
Specifically, he has been held responsible for the deaths of “more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim males at Srebenica in 1995″ as well as 10,000 deaths during the “the 44-month siege of Sarajevo.” A “not guilty” plea has been entered for him.
Admonished for “inappropriate interaction with people in the public gallery” during the hearing, Mladic has been previously quoted stating, “”I am General Ratko Mladic. I defended my people, my country… now I am defending myself.”
After being a fugitive for approximately 15 years before his arrest, he has been held in the same prison as Radovan Karadzic, his former political leader. Karadzic is faced with similar charges in a separate trial that is currently underway.
After only one day, however, the trial was suspended on May 17 “until further notice” due to errors of the prosecution in disclosing evidence.