Mladic in ICTY custody, faces trial on genocide charges
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said Tuesday that it has taken Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb general accused of genocide, into custody, dpa reported.
"Ratko Mladic was today transferred to the Tribunal's custody, after having been at large for almost 16 years," ICTY said on its website.
Mladic, 69, was flown from Belgrade to Rotterdam on a Serbian government jet, then transferred to the ICTY detention centre in The Hague by helicopter.
Several people from former Yugoslavia flocked to ICTY's prison in the Scheveningen area of The Hague to witness Mladic's arrival.
"I am not that moved, the important thing is that he has been arrested and that he will be tried," said a man who said he was from Srebrenica.
Mladic is accused of genocide for having mastermined the mass murder of some 8,000 Muslims in that Bosnian town.
Two more people stood in the street outside the Scheveningen detetion centre, waving a Serbian flag.
"Everything that happened in the former Yugoslovia is shameful, but there are guilty people on all sides, not just Mladic," one of them said.
Echoing comments from other bystanders, he said Mladic and other suspected Balkan war criminals should be tried at home rather than in the Hague.
The former Bosnian Serb general was arrested on Thursday in a relative's house in a village 60 kilometres north of Belgrade.
Serbian authorities swiftly cleared the path to his extradition, rejecting a formal appeal from his lawyer, who insisted that Mladic was too ill to stand trial.
Mladic is expected to be brought to ICTY judges within 48 hours after his arrival. He may enter a plea then or ask for a one-month delay.
More details about court proceedings are expected to be announced at a press conference ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz has called on Wednesday at 1000 GMT.
In Belgrade, Mladic refused to receive the ICTY indictment and said that he does not recognize the jurisdiction of the United Nations' tribunal.
He "stands accused of genocide and a multitude of crimes" committed against Muslim, Croat and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia during the 1992-95 war, ICTY said.
The alleged crimes took place in Srebrenica, in other municipalities in eastern and northwestern Bosnia and in Sarajejevo, which was subject to relentless shelling and sniping by Mladic's forces during a bloody siege.
The prosecution also alleges that Serb forces under Mladic's command tortured, mistreated and physically, psychologically and sexually abused civilians confined in 58 detention facilities.
In Belgrade, Mladic hinted that he will reject any responsibility for the thousands of deaths. He told interrogators that he "killed nobody" and that "those who killed should answer for it."