Mixed response in ex-Yugoslavia to Mladic trial

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Mixed response in ex-Yugoslavia to Mladic trial

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The opening of the Mladic trial proved a powerful draw for members of all communities back in the former Yugoslavia.

In the Serbian capital Belgrade, there was a certain sympathy, but it was by no means universal.

“It’s very sad to watch this man regardless of what I think,” said a customer in a cafe. “But I sympathise with him, and I would not like him to be in this position.”

Another customer said: “I feel sorry, but some justice must be done.”

The Bosnian capital Sarajevo features strongly on the Mladic charge sheet. Citizens there were pinned down for 43 months by forces allegedly on his orders.

Valida Mahmutovic survived the Sarajevo siege. After watching the events in The Hague she said: “It’s never too late. At least let’s allow the truth be known for the sake of those who lost their lives.”

But in Pale, which became the Bosnian Serb administrative centre during the war in the early 90s, he is still seen by many as a hero of Greater Serbia.

In one cafe, they showed their support by chanting his name.