A war crimes court in Serbia has rejected an extradition appeal by the lawyers of Ratko Mladic, meaning the former army general will be transferred to a United Nations tribunal in The Hague to face charges that he committed genocide.
The Belgrade court delivered its decision after deliberating for only four hours. They dismissed concerns posed by Mladic’s attorneys that he was too ill to make the trip and face trial. Medical personnel who examined Mladic on Friday declared he was healthy enough to undergo a court trial.
Mladic could be put on an airplane for the Netherlands as early as today. According to reports, upon arriving the Holland, Mladic will be sent to a detention unit of the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Mladic allegedly engineered the massacre of as many as 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica during the siege of Sarajevo in 1995.
He had been a fugitive since 1995, although he reportedly lived openly and comfortably during that time.
On Tuesday, Mladic was permitted, under heavy security, to visit the grave of his daughter Ana.
Ana reportedly shot herself to death with her father’s own pistol in 1994 after reading about Mladic’s alleged crimes in a magazine.
Meanwhile, Serbian ultranationalists have rallied in support of Mladic, outraged by his arrest and declaring him the hero. They have criticized the government of President Boris Tadic for detaining Mladic and handing him over to Western European authorities. One hundred people were arrested in clashes with police in Belgrade.
The capture of Mladic was considered crucial to Serbia’s quest to join the European