Lawyer: Mladic to boycott court appearance

Court News Posted on

Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic plans to boycott Monday's hearing at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, where he is scheduled to enter pleas to charges including genocide, his Serbian lawyer said.

Mladic is boycotting to demand the power to choose his own defense attorneys, lawyer Milos Saljic said.

"Mladic has decided not to attend the court session to insist on his defense team choice," Saljic told The Associated Press.

The court in the Hague, Netherlands has asked for more time to vet the list of lawyers Mladic has submitted to verify their qualifications and eligibility. Saljic said that Mladic wants him and a Russian lawyer.

Mladic was extradited to the tribunal from Serbia on May 31 after being captured following 15 years as a fugitive. He is charged with orchestrating atrocities committed by Serb forces throughout the 1992-95 Bosnian war. He faces a maximum life sentence if convicted.

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