Bosnian War Criminal Mladic Begins Trial At Hague
The prosecution says that the now-70-year-old Mladic organized the death of thousands in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Muslims and Croats, including the infamous Srebrenica massacre where 8,000 Muslims were slaughtered.
Mladic faces 11 counts of genocide, and if convicted will spend the rest of his life in prison.
CNN said: On Wednesday, prosecutor Dermot Groome laid out details of the case against Mladic, saying that ethnic cleansing was not a byproduct of the war, but a specific aim of the Bosnian Serb leadership.
He will set out to show that Mladic was directly responsible for atrocities carried out by his forces, who were fighting for control of land in ethnically mixed Bosnia.
Mladic had eluded capture for 16 years since the Bosnian War ended in 1995, when two autonomous nations were created.
The start of Mladic's trial also reveals that the ethnic divisions in the Balkans have not improved since the end of the war. While the trial was televised on screens in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, where many of Mladic's victims grimly observed, Mladic's image was applauded by Serbs in his former stronghold of Pale.
Reuters said: "They accused an honorable man," said Serb student Mladen Mancic. "Crimes were committed by all sides. This is just an honorable man who defended the Serb people. If it wasn't for him we wouldn't be here today."