UN war crimes hearing set, questions about Mladic appearance

Other News Materials 4 July 2011 11:50 (UTC +04:00)

The UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague was set to hold hearings Monday in the case of former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, amid questions about whether he would show up.

A spokeswoman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Nerma Jelacic, said Monday that the body had received no information about a possible boycott of the proceedings by Mladic, DPA reported.

She said Mladic had not notified the court of his aim of staying away.

On Sunday, Mladic's Belgrade lawyer said his client would boycott the hearing in protest, allegeing that the tribunal had not yet confirmed acceptance of his defence team.

In Monday's hearing, in the case in which Mladic faces charges of genoice, war crimes and crimes against humanity, the Bosnian Serb military man was to be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not-guilty.

If Mladic does not appear at the hearing, then the presiding judge may, under the tribunal's rules, enter a plea of not-guilty for the defendant.

Mladic, who went into hiding for years after the Balkan wars of the early- mid-1990s, was arrested in late May in a village outside Belgrade and was extradited by Serbia shortly afterwards to The Hague.