The trial of former Bosnian Serb army leader Ratko Mladic started at the Yugoslavia Tribunal in The Hague at 0900 (local time) on Wednesday morning.
Mladic is attending the trial dressed in civilian clothes; Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz is being represented by some of his associates. At the start of the session, presiding judge Alphons Orie expressed annoyance with the fact that large quantities of material were only made available to counsel shortly before the start of the trial.
The three UN judges will announce later what consequences this situation will have. However, the court allowed the prosecutors to go ahead with their opening statements on Wednesday and Thursday. As Mladic and his counsel have no need to speak, they will not suffer any adverse consequences from not having had access to all the material.
At the start of his opening statement, UN prosecutor Dermot Groome reminded the court of the fact that the Bosnian war broke out nearly 20 years ago. He said Bosnian Serbs attacked their Muslim compatriots “for no reason other than their ethnicity.”
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