Mladic slams 'monstrous' war crimes charges

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Mladic slams 'monstrous' war crimes charges

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Ratko Mladic, the former head of the Bosnian Serb army, appeared in court for the first time on Friday to face charges of war crimes after 16 years on the run.

The 69-year-old declined to enter a plea, dismissing the allegations as “monstrous”.

Mladic faces 11 charges including genocide, murder and crimes against humanity during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War.

He told judges that he is “gravely ill” and his lawyers claim he is unable to stand trial. Court doctors disagreed and said he was fit to appear in the dock.

Prosecutors said he ordered the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II.

They said Mladic wanted to cleanse Bosnia of Muslims as part of a plot to create a ‘Greater Serbia’.

He is also charged with the 44-month ‘Siege of Sarajevo’ which left 10,000 people dead.

Mladic was arrested in Serbia last week before being deported to the Dutch city of The Hague, where the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is based.