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Ratko Mladic on Trial For Genocide that Islamophobes Love to Deny

Suffice to say many Islamophobes deny the Genocide against Bosnian Muslims, chief amongst them are Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.

Ratko Mladic goes on trial for genocide

(AlJazeera English)

The trial of General Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army chief accused of orchestrating war crimes and a campaign of genocide, has begun at a special UN court at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia made their opening statements against Mladic on Wednesday almost a year after his arrest in Serbia and subsequent deportation after years on the run.

Mladic is accused of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including orchestrating the week-long massacre of over 7,000 Muslim boys and men at Srebrenica in 1995 during the Bosnian war.

Prosecutor Dermot Groome said the prosecution would present evidence showing “beyond a reasonable doubt the hand of Mr. Mladic in each of these crimes”.

“The world watched in disbelief that in neighborhoods and villages within Europe a genocide appeared to be in progress,” said Groome, describing the beginning of the war in 1992.

“By the time Mladic and his troops murdered thousands in Srebrenica … they were well-rehearsed in the craft of murder,” Groome told the court.

Older but defiant

Dressed in a dark grey suit and dark tie, Mladic, now 70, flashed a thumbs-up and clapped his hands as he entered the courtroom in The Hague.

In the packed public seating area, a mother of one of the Srebrenica victims whispered “vulture” several times as prosecutors opened their case.

Later, Mladic made eye contact with one of the Muslim women in the audience, running a hand across his throat, in a gesture that led Presiding judge Alphons Orie to hold a brief recess and order an end to “inappropriate interactions.”

“Ratko Mladic is clearly not the stocky, physically imposing, bullish man that we remember from images of the early ’90s,” Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips reported from The Hague.

Phillips added, however, that even with his age, the general remained as defiant as ever.

“You could really sense his contempt for this court, which he calls the ‘NATO’ court,” he said.

Axel Hagedorn, a lawyer for many of the mothers of those killed in Srebrenica, said that many of his clients had travelled to The Hague, where they were relieved to finally see Mladic stand trial.

“I think he looks much more healthy than last year, when he appeared, that is good for us, because we hope that he can survive this trial and face imprisonment,” he said.

The Mladic trial would also help build a separate case by the Srebrenica families against the United Nations, he said.

In April, the Dutch Supreme Courht ruled that the UN could not be prosecuted in the Netherlands for failing to prevent genocide in Srebrenica, but the families’ lawyers plan to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

“This case is very linked to our case, on the failure of the United Nations to protect the people of Srebrenica,” Hagedorn said.

There are concerns that Mladic’s trial could be disrupted by the defendant’s poor health. He is believed to have suffered at least one stroke while in hiding and was admitted to hospital for pneumonia last October.

Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, died of a heart attack in detention in 2006 before a verdict in his trial could be reached.

‘Biggest butcher’

Outside, protesters held up placards including one that said “we want justice for the victims of Srebrenica”.

Mladic, who was arrested in a village in northern Serbia last May, is also charged over the 44-month siege of Sarajevo during which more than 10,000 people died.

Mladic has refused to enter a plea and rejected the charges against him as “monstrous” and “obnoxious” in a preliminary hearing last June. He says he was defending his country and his people as leader of the Bosnian Serb army. The court entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on his behalf.

He is the last of the main protagonists involved in the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia to go on trial in front of the special court established by the United Nations to prosecute crimes committed during the conflicts.

“This is the biggest butcher of the Balkans and the world,” Munira Subasic, 65, told the AFP news agency. She lost 22 relatives to Bosnian Serb military forces when Srebrenica was overrun in July 1995.

“I’ll look into his eyes and ask him if he repents,” said Subasic, who said she would watch the trial’s opening from the public gallery at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The case has stirred up deep emotions in the Balkans and Wednesday’s proceedings were broadcast live on big screens in Sarajevo, where thousands died between 1992 and 1995.

“I hope that many of those who are disillusioned and believe that Mladic is a Serb hero will change their minds, and that the trial will demonstrate that he was just a criminal and a coward,” Fikret Grabovica, president of the association of parents and children killed in the siege of Sarajevo, said.

“Even if Mladic lives until the verdict, it will bring only mild satisfaction for the victims of Srebrenica and hundreds of other places in the Serb Republic,” Grabovica added, referring to the entity that rules Serb majority areas of Bosnia.

‘Not satisfied’

Since the end of the war, Bosnia-Herzegovina has been divided into a federation of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, and the Serb Republic.

Mladic’s lawyers last week attempted to have the trial pushed back as the court pondered their request to have presiding judge Alphons Orie removed from the bench. They had argued that Orie would be biased against Mladic because he had already condemned several of his former subordinates.

But Theodor Meron, the president of the court, denied the request.

“I am not satisfied that Mladic has demonstrated that a reasonable observer … would reasonably apprehend bias. I accordingly find Mladic’s request for Judge Orie’s disqualification to be unmeritorious,” he said in a statement.

Mladic is being held in the same prison as his former political leader Radovan Karadzic, who was arrested in 2008 and is now about halfway through his trial on similar charges to Mladic.

Mladic’s lawyers on Monday night filed another request to have the trial adjourned for six months, saying they had not had enough time to prepare, due to “errors” by the prosecution in disclosing documents.

Groome said on Wednesday he would not oppose a “reasonable adjournment”.

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  • Franczeska

    One can learn a few things about a person by looking at who his or her heroes are.

  • Truth Hurts

    @Steve “Atrocities were committed by all sides in that war.”

    That truism is probably true in ALL wars.

    (I heard of a anecdotal revenge story of what a Bosnian Muslim man done to a grandmother after his wife & young child (daughter) were mercilessly raped to death by Chetniks (Serb Orthodox Christian militia). He went crazy .)

    However, we must bear in mind things like premeditation, provocation, first strike, balance of power & motivation alongside the depths of barbarity.

    Even though I am sympathetic to the Allied war effort, the deliberate targeting of civilians on Total War basis e.g. Dresden-Ruhr valley & nuclear attacks on Japanese cities beggars belief!

    The support by the US Jewish community is not forgotten.

  • Steve

    Atrocities were committed by all sides in that war. That doesn’t excuse what Mladic did, there can be no excuse for that (assuming he is found guilty)

  • Palestinian

    “IlanReiber Says:
    Israel Accepts 84 of Bosnia’s Muslim Refugees
    Published: February 18, 1993

    So when are you going to accept the return of the Palestinian refugees?

    Trying to make Israel look good? Two words: epic fail.

  • crow

    Surprisingly. deccal you are right…he wont get a fair trial, he wont be hung at the end. To be fair he should be put in front of a firing squad asap, then his trial is over it was fair and everybody but the right wing trash is happy

  • deccal

    I highly doubt he will get a fair trial from the Hague. Perhaps he will die from an early heart attack.

  • truth

    @Waqas Zia. You are right.
    Mladic should be tortured as well because life imprisonment is not enough as punishment for his evil deed.
    Shame onto Pamela geller for supporting a man who violated her fellow woman.

  • truth

    Geller is the most crazist woman have ever known in my life. I wonder the kind of up bringing she gives her children.
    @ Dan20 I hate people that argue blindly. I know you have problem accepting the truths.

  • dan20

    How is the Islamophobic support for this mass murderer any different from the millions of Sunnis who came out to mourn Saddam Hussein and even called for killing Shi’as as revenge over his martyrdom?

  • corey

    @sam seed
    I am quite surprised that the legion of the idiotic fanboys of spencer and geller are not here to either defend this guy or say that what he did was somehow justified, which seems to be the case if you look at my link above to where geller went into a tirade about his capture and shows just how much of a “human rights fighter” she really is hell I even went to see if sheiked his mommy or bni had anything to say about it, after all with there blantant hatred of muslims I would think they would be raving about “injustice” or how they have “weakened the fight against jihad”(and now I have to disinfect my brain and clean my computer abit because of how disgusting those sites are) but surprise surprise some commenters at fox news seem to be fans of his one commenter seems to want him to have the nobel peace price

  • IlanReiber

    Israel Accepts 84 of Bosnia’s Muslim Refugees
    Published: February 18, 1993

  • IlanReiber

    Israel to extradite citizen wanted for war crimes in Bosnia
    Aug.01, 2011
    Bosnian Serb Aleksander Cvetkovic accused of taking part in Srebrenica massacre in 1995, where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Serb troops.

  • Sam Seed

    Where’s Halal Pork/Truth Seeker? Surely this is one of his heroes!

  • Anj

    You damn right waqas!
    Muslims should never forget that! Ever!

  • Crow

    Give him a fair choice…He can either be handed over to the families of the victims he brutally murdered or he can be hung

  • Waqas Zia

    What I am about to say is not for the faint of heart . Read on at your own peril.
    The thing I remember the most about this war is what a co-worker told me in 2002. A friend of his worked for Red Cross who had actually been in the reign during many of the atrocities. He and his team came across the body of young mother with her young children crying beside her. They had been crying for so long their tear ducts had dried out and there were traces of white salt down their faces. Upon further examination of their now dead mother they discovered she had been raped in all three places before her death. They picked up the children and moved on.
    If that doesn’t make your blood boil you can read here:
    The accounts of the witnesses towards the bottom of the page are the most chilling part.

    When you first hear of the concept of hell, it sounds like a place too evil for God to have created. Then you witness some of the evil that humans are capable of ….
    I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but I hope those responsible for such unspeakable, grotesque, horrendous crimes burn in hell for at least a thousand years before God even considers ending their sentence.

    The part that equally angers me to no end is that hardly 50 years had passed since the Second World War with all its horrors and genocides, and yet NATO allowed this to happen in Europe’s backyard. They very effectively upheld the weapons embargo on the Muslims, yet had virtually no control over the Serbs who gained superiority of arms which allowed them to commit atrocities with impunity. The Muslims weren’t even allowed to defend themselves. Worse still the UN gave assurances of “safe zones” that turned into massacre zones with Dutch soldiers silently watching. I for one consider them accomplices for their cowardice in refusing to send in ground troops to stop these atrocities. I guess saving a bunch of Muslims just wasn’t worth it…

    We shall not forget.

  • MC

    I swear… just try him and then put him on the chair or whatever they punishment they have…

  • Abdul-Rahman

    The Islamophobes truly have no bounds in who they will voice support for as long as that person or persons are killing and oppressing Muslims! And I’m saying this as someone who strongly recognizes the Western imperialist role in bringing down the market socialist union of Tito’s Yugoslavia.

  • corey

    pam geller the in name only “human rights fighter” is most likely going to go in a tizzy about this considering her reaction when they caught the piece of shit so can anybody tell me how defending a war criminal who participated in ethnic cleansing is in accordance with fighting for human rights because I thought people who fight for human rights are against that sort of thing islamaphobe logic is so confusing.

  • Reynardine

    That, of course, is a trial conducted under the Code system, and professional jurists try both law and fact. In front of a jury as we are familiar with it, the throat he slit with that gesture would have been his own.

  • mindy1

    @ThebigT đź?†

  • @Emperor

    I saw this on Twitter. Charles Johnson left a link to his little Green Footballs, and someone had written about it there. I never even heard of this guy until today. How many more monsters are out there that most of us have never even heard of? That’s a chilling thought.

  • TheBig-T

    poor bacteria having to eat a piece of s*it like him
    I say send him to the sun along with Brevik and “Baby-killer” Bashar alasad

  • mindy1

    Oh the fun I could have with him… flesh eating bacteria anyone?? đź?‰

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