After evading justice for 16 years, Ratko Mladic, the brain behind the horrendous Srebrenica massacre will appear before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)on Friday.
Accused of being a war criminal and responsible for the deaths of up to 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995 genocide, Mladic is expected to plead not guilty, paving the way for another lengthy legal process that could take 3 years to complete.
Another argument that can be put forward by his legal team is that his mental health is not good and that he may die before the end of the trial. Despite the legal wrangling, officials at the ICTY said Mladic sounded pretty rational during initial interviews on Tuesday evening.
The tribunal's registrar John Hocking said on Wednesday that Mladic had been extremely co-operative. He said the 69-year-old suspect appeared to understand his questions and the outline of the case against him.
Hocking said that on examinations, the doctors found no medical problems with him to prevent him from being subjected to the tribunal's detention unit, in solitary confinement until Friday. I can state categorically he is not on suicide watch, said Hocking in an answer to a question during a press conference on wednesday.
At this stage there was no need to place him on suicide watch. Mladic was quoted in the past as saying that he would rather take his own life than end up at The Hague tribunal. Mladic had two guns in his possesssion at the time of arrest last Thursday which he would have used to commit suicide.
Inside his 15-square metre cell with amenities like a TV and a computer, he will be visited by doctors regularly and will be allowed to do regular exercise, besides a spiritual counselor and an English tutor, reports the Independent.
Cells are locked from 9pm-7.30am, while in the meantime the inmates can prepare their defense, talk to each other and even cook, if not satisfied with Dutch food. Mladic will also be allowed to have family visits that are monitored but not recorded, which will be paid for by Serbia. He will have to pay for his own defense and it is still unknown if he has appointed any lawyers, the report said.