He may be one of the highest profile war crime suspects in modern European history. But to his family, Ratko Mladic “is a hero”.
The former Bosnian Serb General is on trial for ordering heavy artillery over civilians in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. He’s also being accused of organising the massacre of more than 8,000 men and boys.
The Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995 killed more than a hundred thousand people.
But Mladic is remembered by some parts of Bosnia as the defender of a nation.
After being on the run for a decade and a half, Mladic was finally captured in 2011 and has been on trial ever since.
His family are concerned a conviction next week from UN judges in the Hague would mean he’ll be remembered as a war criminal.
But for most Bosnians, the verdict will finally end a dark chapter in their recent history.
Mladic’s Family: “He’s still a hero”
Mile Mladic (Uncle of Ratko Mladic): “He is a hero. He was leading his army. He never removed a hair from anyone’s head. He never stepped on an ant. He was honourably leading his Serb army.”
Darko Mladic (Son of Ratko Mladic): “That time of the arrest was a really hard time for us. For me, it was one of the hardest moments, maybe after the death of my sister. He was treated like a man stripped of all legal rights. Everything that he was entitled to, in the means of his defence, was denied. Serbia, led by president Boris Tadic, denied him everything.”
Dusko Mladic (Son of Ratko Mladic): “He is a saint. For all of us here in these villages.”
By Chris Pilcher