Serbs Protest Arrest of Ratko Mladic on Genocide Charges


Saljic said the former commander is repeatedly demanding to visit the grave of his daughter, Ana, who committed suicide with one of his handguns in 1994.

"He says if he can't go there, he wants his daughter's coffin brought to him in jail," Saljic said. "His condition is alarming."

A Serbian official said there had been a provisional court ruling allowing Mladic to visit the grave, but the security services would probably veto the decision.

Mladic's arrest clears a major hurdle for Serbia and its long-awaited entrance into the European Union, but Rasim Ljajic, who is head of the national council for relations with The Hague acknowledged that Mladic's arrest could cost the ruling party the next election.

"We knew that a majority of citizens were against his extradition to The Hague," Ljajic told the Bosnian newspaper, Dnevni Avaz. "All polls showed it, including the last one we did about 10 days ago. It showed that 51 percent of Serbian citizens opposed his extradition and that 34 percent were for it."

Mladic allegedly presided over the five-day slaughter in July 1995 when Muslim men and boys were systematically executed in what was described at the U.N. war crimes tribunal as "the triumph of evil."

Jurists at The Hague tribunal are carefully reviewing 11 indictments against Mladic, as they await his imminent extradition.

Mladic could be transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague on Monday or Tuesday, according to the acting president of the Tribunal, Mehmet Guney.

His trial on charges of genocide, including the massacre at Srebrenica, other war crimes and crimes against humanity, could take 18 months to two years to complete.

Guney appointed Germany's Christoph Flugge presiding judge in the trial. The other two judges will be Alphonse Orie of the Netherlands and Bakone Moloto of South Africa.

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