War crimes suspect Mladic appeals for release on medical grounds

Former Bosnian Serb army commander Mladic attends his trial at the ICTY at The Hague

The Hague (Reuters) – Former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic, who is awaiting a verdict on genocide charges for his role in the Bosnian war, has filed an appeal against a U.N. court’s refusal to send him to Russia for medical treatment, court documents released on Tuesday show.

Mladic’s defense team has been seeking provisional release for the former general since March this year. They argue Mladic, who had several strokes during his years on the run before being captured in Serbia in 2010, is not getting adequate medical treatment and could die in the U.N. detention center in The Hague.

They insist he would get better treatment in Russia which has made guarantees to the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that it would return the general if ordered.

Earlier this month the U.N. court rejected Mladic’s request for provisional release, saying they were not convinced he would voluntarily return to The Hague after treatment. They also found that the defense claims that he was not getting adequate medical treatment in detention were unsubstantiated.

The appeals chamber has not set a date for its ruling on the appeal, which is likely to be in June. The court is set to issue a judgment in Mladic’s trial in November.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Catherine Evans)