Prosecutors in the war crimes trial against Ratko Mladic are requesting that the court split the case into two parts. The proposed separation could speed up proceedings and nearly assure that the case reached a verdict.
Lawyers said they want to try Mladic separately for the Srebrenica massacre, and then for the siege of Sarajevo. Mladic faces a total of 11 charges, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and he has plead not-guilty on all accounts.
Mladic is blamed for the Srebrenica Massacre during the war in the Balkans, during which more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed. Srebrenica was the largest European mass murder since World War Two. The siege of Sarajevo lasted nearly four years, during which 10,000 people were killed.
If convicted, Mladic would likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
"Trying the Srebrenica indictment first will maximize the likelihood of completing a trial and having a judgement issued," the prosecution said in a court filing dated Tuesday but made public on Wednesday.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has said that the tribunal must be finished by December 2014. Mladic has been delaying the trial -- either intentionally or not -- by refusing to accept a court appointed lawyer. The trial is currently paused indefinitely.
The UN court has been criticized in the past for moving sluggishly in other cases concerning the war in the Balkans.
If things continue to move slowly, and if rumors of Mladic's poor health are true, the former general might permanently end the trial the same way Slobodan Miloševi? did.
Miloševi?, the former president of both Yugoslavia and Serbia, died in his cell while his war crimes trial was still underway. The court was expected to reach a verdict a few months after Miloševi? passed. There are rumors that the alleged criminal's heart attack was not natural.