Ratko Mladic has arrived in The Netherlands, where the former fugitive and suspected war criminal will face charges if committing genocide, among other crimes, during the Balkan wars of the early 1990s.
A Serbian judge rejected an extradition appeal on Mladic’s behalf earlier today, dismissing concerns by his attorney that he was too ill for make the trip and face trial.
Thereafter, judicial officials in Belgrade quickly signed documents to transfer Mladic to the United Nations tribunal.
The most grievous charge against Mladic is that he ordered and arranged the massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995 during the siege of Sarajevo.
The capture of Mladic was one of the key demands of the European Union in exchange for approval of Serbia’s membership in the EU.
However, there remain concerns if and how Mladic will be able to withstand the rigors of a trial. His lawyer, Milos Saljic, has repeatedly stated that Mladic had suffered heart attack and a stroke during his years on the run and is in poor health.
Mladic allegedly cannot concentrate nor communicate effectively.
According to Reuters, Mladic will be sent to the Scheveningen detention center, outside of The Hague.
Among the inmates there are Mladic’s former boss, Radovan Karadzic. Other inmates include Thomas Lubanga, the Congo warlord who recruited child soldiers and Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia who is accused of committing mass murder, rape and sexual slavery
Slobodan Milosevic, the former president of Serbia, died in detention here in March 2006, just prior a verdict arrived in his four-year trial for genocide.
Nerma Jelacic, a spokeswoman for the tribunal, said Mladic will receive a medical check-up when he arrives.
The detainees can use prison medical facilities, but if they have severe problems we can use other prison hospitals or even civilian hospitals, Jelacic said.