Serbia may send Ratko Mladic to face genocide charges in The Hague within four days, a justice official said on Monday, after the Bosnian Serb wartime general’s son said he appeared frail after 16 years of run.

Mladic was indicted for genocide in the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Security agents found the fugitive general in a messy Serbian farmhouse, belonging to his cousinon Thursday after tight surveillance on relatives and helpers and in doing so removed big obstacle to Serbia officially beginnning its bid to join the European Union.

His lawyer argued that Mladic is mentally unstable and too sick to appear for extradition to the International Criminal Tribunal.

A Belgrade court ruled on Friday he was fit enough to face trial and served extradition papers.

Mladic's lawyer Milos Saljic said he plans to appeal that decision to prolong the extradition as long as possible... I will mail it late this afternoon, he said.

Vladimir Vukcevic, Serbia's chief war crimes prosecutor said: I have seen Mladic and I believe he is fit for trial ... We will now focus on uncovering the entire network of his helpers.

Decision of the appeal court is yet to be heard, which will then rule on the extradition straightaway, a process that would take up to four days, said Slobodan Homen, a state secretary.

Many Serbians admire Mladic as a dedicated military man who did not seek to enrich himself during the bitter civil war.

Ratko Mladic is not a criminal, he did not order the killings. He defended his people in an honourable, fair and professional manner, said Mladic’s son.