MLADIC TO APPEAL AGAINST EXTRADITION
THE recently arrested former Bosnian Serb army chief, Ratko Mladic, has indicated plan to file an appeal against his extradition to the United Nations (UN) war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
According a report by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Mladic's family said the General 'is too sick to travel,' but the Serbian government is expected to reject the appeal.
Mladic is accused of committing war crimes during the Bosnian war, including the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 7,500 Muslim men and boys.
Thousands of people rallied in Belgrade on Sunday against his arrest. The demonstrators hailed the general as a Serbian national hero. About 100 people were arrested during clashes with police in the Serbian capital.
But speaking outside Belgrade's war crimes court, Mladic's lawyer, Milos Saljic, said he would file the appeal by post later yesterday. It is expected to arrive at the building on today.
'I will make the appeal this afternoon to prolong things a little bit, so the extradition does not take place right away,' said Saljic.
The move is a way of buying a little more time for his client, whom Saljic insists is too sick to be extradited to The Hague.
Despite a decision by a Belgrade court that Mladic was fit enough to be handed over to the UN court, Saljic said he would request another independent medical examination, saying his client's health had deteriorated since his arrest.
'I don't think the trial will take place. He will not live to the start of the trial,' Mr Saljic.
It could take up to three days for the ministry of justice to decide on the appeal, but it is likely to be rejected earlier, with Serbia's deputy war crimes prosecutor already dismissing the claim of ill-health as a delaying tactic.