Family to request VMA and Russian doctors

BELGRADE -- Hague indictee Ratko Mladić's wife Bosiljka and son Darko visited him in jail around 11:00 CET on Friday in Belgrade.

Darko and Bosiljka Mladić arrive to the Special Court with their lawyer (Tanjug)
Darko and Bosiljka Mladić arrive to the Special Court with their lawyer (Tanjug)

Mladić's lawyer Miloš Šaljić told B92 that this was the first time they met in ten years.

According to news agencies, Mladić's wife and son came to the Special Court but did not wish to make any statements for the press.

“They will be alone with him during the visit, without any restrictions, without a judge or any official present, I won't be there either,“ Šaljić explained.

“As far as Mladić's interrogation is concerned, it is scheduled for 12:00 but it remains to be seen if it will go ahead, because it depends on findings of the doctors who examined him last night,“ the indictee's attorney pointed out.

He told B92 that Darko Mladić did last week travel to the village of Lazarevo - where Mladić was arrested yesterday - but that he said he did not meet with his father, and was unaware that he was there.

“He was in Lazarevo at another relative's patron saint day celebration, but he had no contact whatsoever (with Mladić). He didn't even imagine that his father was so close, the houses are very close. It's up to you whether you are going to believe that or not, I cannot make anyone believe something they don't. But I am sure that nobody saw Mladić, bearing in mind my contacts with the family. They had no contacts with him. Mladić is so attached to his family that he would never allow himself to put them at risk in any way by having contacts with them,“ Šaljić pointed out.

The lawyer also stated for Tanjug ttoday that, due to Ratko Mladić's ill health, he will request his transfer to a special health care institution where he would receive adequate medical care.

He also announced that he will request for Mladić to be subjected to detailed medical examinations, as well as that a medical report be compiled on whether he has the capacity to act, that is defend himself from the charges that he is facing.

Šaljić said that Mladić was examined by five doctors of the Belgrade District Court on Friday evening.

According to Serbian Deputy War Crimes Prosecutor Bruno Vekarić, Mladić spent the night at the prison unit of the Special Court under constant medical supervision.

Russian doctors

Darko Mladić stated on Friday that his father's condition was "critical", and that the family will request for him to be transferred to the Military Medical Academy (VMA) in Belgrade, and examined by an independent team of doctors.

"He recognized us," said Darko Mladić, who with his mother Bosiljka spent almost two hours in a visit to his father, whom, as he pointed out, he had not seen for ten years.

Describing his father's health condition, Darko Mladić dismissed the claims that the information about his ill health are a tactics of the defense, adding that he had already consulted doctors from Russia and asked them to come to Serbia and attend the 'independent examination.'

"He is having a hard time communicating, his right arm is almost paralyzed as he cannot use his fingers, and he has lost feeling in the right side of his body," Mladić's son stressed.

Darko Mladić said that he is not familiar with the treatment that his father is receiving, but that he knows that he had a heart examination and an MRI of the brain yesterday evening, which discovered two scars from strokes that he had suffered.

Darko Mladić did not wish to comment his father's long-time hiding, or the forthcoming process before the Hague.

According to his son, Ratko Mladić's position is that he is not guilty of the crimes that he is charged with by that court, but he is "not certain whether he will have the opportunity to prove that".