Hague Tribunal adjourns Mladić’s trial

THE HAGUE -- The prosecution finished its opening statement in the trial of Ratko Mladić in the Hague Tribunal on Thursday.

Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić

The trial was then adjourned until further notice.

The court decided to adjourn the trial, granting the defense and prosecution’s request to postpone presentation of evidence and calling of witnesses so the defense would have additional time to prepare.

Presiding Judge Alphons Orie could not say when the trial would continue.

The prosecution on Thursday focused mainly on Srebrenica.

“Ratko Mladić was obsessed with the idea of destroying Muslims,” said Prosecutor Peter McCloskey stressed.

“The Prosecution is convinced that Mladić not only took part in the planning of taking over the Srebrenica and Žepa enclaves and gave orders to soldiers but that he was present at some crime scenes at the time of the murders,” the prosecutor stressed.

The Prosecution will try to prove that the former Republic of Srpska (RS) Army commander was responsible for the operation which killed more than 7,000 Muslims and expelled the entire Muslim population from Srebrenica in just several days.

“Srebrenica was and remains genocide. The proofs of that crime are numerous and indisputable,” McCloskey noted.

The prosecutor presented some of the key evidence during his opening statement. As a proof that he expulsion of the Muslim population from the safe zones was planned for a long time, the prosecution will use a document that was sent to the troops in the field by the RS top state and military officials, ordering them to “create totally insecure, unbearable conditions without any perspective of further survival of Srebrenica and Žepa residents”.

McCloskey said that a plan was to expel the entire Muslim population from Srebrenica and to detain all men aged between 16 and 65, who were later killed.

The prosecution believes that such a mass crime could only be “committed by an army which was controlled from the top”.

The prosecutor added that 11 men who survived the Srebrenica massacre would testify in court.