Serbia’s war crimes court has rejected Ratko Mladic’s appeal against extradition to The Hague to face genocide charges.
The court in Belgrade took just a few hours to reach a decision after receiving the appeal documents earlier today.
The Hague tribunal has indicted Mladic for genocide in the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,00 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.
Serbia’s Chief War Crimes Prosecutor, Vladimir Vukcevic, announced the decision: “the appeal has been rejected and the extradition can go ahead.”
Mladic’s family and lawyer based their appeal on health issues claiming the 69-year-old was too ill to face trial. Doctors who examined the man dubbed the ‘beast of the Balkans’ during the conflict said he was fit enough to travel.
The Bosnian Serb war time general was taken into custody last Thursday in the village of Lazarevo, north of the capital after being on the run for the past 16 years.
Now the appeal has been thrown out the Serbian justice minister must sign the extradition order for the transfer to go ahead. It is expected that Mladic will be onboard a plane to The Hague sooner rather than later.