Jezik / Language:
27 May 2011

Revised Indictment Against Mladic in Seven Days

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY accepts a proposal by the Hague Prosecution to revise the indictment against Ratko Mladic to “explain and further define the charges”.
Hague Tribunal Judge Alphons Orie accepted the proposal to“revise and restructure” the indictment against Mladic, former Commander of the Main Headquarters with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, pointing out that the Hague Prosecution submitted “sufficient additional evidence”.

The Hague Prosecution was ordered to file the revised indictment within seven days.  

“I consider that the Prosecution’s pieces of evidence, if the Court accepts them and they are not refuted during the proceedings, sufficiently support the probability that the indictee would be pronounced guilty by any fair court,” Judge Orie’s decision says.

The Hague Prosecution’s proposal for revision of the indictment of May last year mentions four key changes to the indictment, originally filed by the Hague Court in 1995.

The Prosecution explained that the revisions have been made in order to “harmonize the indictment with the Hague Tribunal’s jurisprudence and include new pieces of evidence, which have been gathered since 2002”.

The Hague Prosecution proposed that “an update and explanation” of the allegations referring to Mladic’s individual responsibility be included in the new indictment, while the indictment will be restructured and the number of counts reduced.

Mladic is charged under the proposed indictment, which includes 11 counts, with genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war, related to the ethnic cleansing committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995, the terror campaign against Sarajevo citizens, the taking of hostages and the genocide committed in Srebrenica in July 1995.

The previous indictment against Mladic contained 15 counts. The Prosecution explains that “the number of municipalities has not been reduced”, but “the allegations have been restructured”.

“All of the municipalities mentioned in the indictment are covered in at least one other case before the Hague Tribunal. In this way, most pieces of evidence pertaining to the basis of crimes committed in the municipalities can be accepted as previously determined facts. This will reduce the time needed for examination of witnesses,” the Hague Prosecution explained.

Ratko Mladic is mentioned in the indictment against Radovan Karadzic as “one of the key accomplices in the joint criminal enterprise, JCE”. Therefore, the Hague Prosecution proposed that “the allegations against Karadzic and Mladic be made equal”.

“In that way, the proposed indictment would enable the joindering of these cases if Mladic is arrested within a reasonable timeframe. Considering the fact that Karadzic and Mladic are key members of the JCE in both indictments, it would be very convenient to join them,” the Hague Prosecution said in its motion, filed in May last year.

The trial of Karadzic, former President of Republika Srpska and supreme Commander of its armed forces, who is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war, began in October 2009.

Karadzic was on the run for more than ten years before he was arrested in Belgrade in 2008.

Mladic was arrested in Serbia on Thursday, May 27.

Following a hearing held before the Higher Court in Belgrade on Friday, Court Spokesperson Maja Kovacevic-Vucic said that the Court determined that the conditions for extradition to the Hague Tribunal were met and Mladic was fit to stand trial.

While awaiting Mladic’s extradition, the Hague Tribunal has appointed the judges who will manage the proceedings against him after his transfer to the Hague. Judges Christoph Flugge, Alphons Orie and Bakone Justice Moloto will be members of the Trial Chamber.
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