Saturday, 14 July 2012

Mladic returns to custody after stint in hospital.

Ratko Mladic. (Source: Archives / AFP)
Former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic has returned to detention at The Hague after hospital examinations declared that he required no further treatment.

Mladic, 70, facing a series of charges related to the mid-1990's war in Bosnia, including genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo, was rushed to hospital on Thursday morning after falling ill in court.

Spokeswoman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Nerma Jelacic, announced in a statement that Mladic's health scare was not as serious as first thought.

"Ratko Mladic has returned to the detention unit after medical examinations confirmed there were no abnormalities in his health status and that no treatment is required," Jelacic's statement read. "The previous determination that Mladic is fit to stand trial therefore remains unchanged."

It is not the first time Mladic has had issues with his health since his arrest last year. A hernia operation, as well as treatment for other ailments including a kidney stone and pneumonia, are among a number of medical-related problems that have halted the former war-time leader's trial considerably.

Mladic's health issues draw a similar resemblance to the case of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who died in a Dutch prison cell in 2006 while also on trial at the ICTY.

Milosevic's case dragged on for four years - mostly due to his own ill health reportedly holding up proceedings - before the trial had to be aborted because of his death.

Prosecutors and relatives of victims fear Mladic may also die before facing justice.

The leader of a group that represents the family members of some of the 8,000 Bosnian Muslims killed in the Srebrenica massacre said she hoped Mladic would survive.

"We wish him a good recovery. We pray to God that he gets well because if he dies, justice will die with him and the victims will be betrayed again," said Munira Subasic, the head of the Mothers of Srebrenica group. "We need him to be convicted. We need it for our own history. We do not want the Milosevic situation to be repeated."

Mladic's trial is expected to resume on Monday.

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