Former Serbian army chief's defense case begins

Ratko Mladic faces charges of crimes against humanity, including the killing of 8,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslims) men and boys in Srebrenica in July 1995

Ratko Mladic faces charges of crimes against humanity, including the killing of 8,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslims) men and boys in Srebrenica in July 1995

THE HAGUE – The defense case of a former Bosnian Serb army chief, Ratko Mladic, on charges of crimes against humanity has begun on Monday in The Hague.

The case is expected to last 207 hours as approximately 330 witnesses will testify. Defense lawyers will also most likely deny all allegations concerning Mladic and insist on his health problems for refusing to testify before The Hague tribunal.

The 72-year-old faces charges of genocide for his actions during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including the killing of around 8,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslims) men and boys in Srebrenica, in July 1995, and the targeting of civilians during the three-year siege of Sarajevo 

Mladic, also known as "Butcher of Bosnia", refused on April 28 to testify on behalf of ex-Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic at his war crimes trial in The Hague.

He had been on the run for 16 years before being arrested in northern Serbia in 2011.

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