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Ratko Mladic Trial At Hague 'Suspended Indefinitely'

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MLADIC
The trial of Ratko Mladic has been suspended by the judge | Getty

The case in the war crimes trial of ex-Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic was suspended indefinitely on Thursday due to disclosure errors by prosecutors.

The presiding judge, Alphons Orie, said he was delaying the war crimes tribunal because of "significant disclosure errors".

Not all the evidence was shared with the accused's defence team.

The judge has said he will give a new starting date as soon as the "scope and full impact" of the mistake has been established.

According to the Associated Press, Mladic's defence team has asked for a six-month delay.

On when the trial will restart, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), said: "We have no indication. It's up to the judges to issue a new scheduling order."

Speaking to AP, Nerma Jelacic, a spokesperson for the court said that the material that was not disclosed to the defence was mainly testimony from witnesses who they prosecution intended to call.

The second day of the trial had seen the focus shift towards the July 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. Mladic is accused of killing 7,000 Muslim men and young boys in the town. A mass grave was discovered outside the eastern enclave after the end of the Bosnian War.

Prosecutor Peter McCloskey said: "In a period of only five days, from July 12-16, 1995, the armed forces of (Bosnian Serb leader) Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic expelled the civilian population of Srebrenica and murdered over 7,000 Srebrenica men and boys."

Before the suspension on Thursday, video was played in court that showed panic inside the town as Serb forces approached Srebrenica, as well as Mladic shouting at Dutch UN peacekeepers.

Screaming “did you order your soldiers to shoot my soldiers,” Mladic could be seen in the 16-year-old film berating Colonel Thom Karremans. While the video was played, the accused clapped his hands.

Mladic, now 70-years-old and in ill health, faces 11 charges of war crimes carried out between 1992-95, including genocide.

The accused has refused to enter a plea, so the tribunal has entered a plea of “not guilty” on his behalf. Mladic has called the crimes of which he is accused “monstrous”.

On Wednesday, Mladic made a cut throat gesture to a mother of one of the 1995 victims, who was sat in the court's public gallery.

Speaking at the opening of the trial on Wednesday, the court’s chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said: "I don't have to tell you how important it is that finally this trial can start 17 years after the first indictment was issued."

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