Accused war criminal Ratko Mladic [ICTY backgrounder, PDF; JURIST news archive] has been hospitalized suffering from pneumonia, his lawyers said Tuesday. Mladic is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on charges of genocide and war crimes allegedly committed during the Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive]. The ICTY confirmed that Mladic is receiving medical treatment [Reuters report], but it could not confirm the reason for the hospitalization. Mladic has complained of ill health since his trial began, prompting officials to propose splitting the case in two in order to accelerate the pace of the proceedings. It is not immediately clear what this hospitalization will mean for the proceedings.
Serbian authorities captured Mladic [JURIST report] in May, ending a 16-year manhunt for the former general colonel and commander of the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During his appearance at the ICTY in July he was removed from the courtroom [JURIST report] for disrupting the proceedings. Mladic made his first appearance [JURIST report] at the ICTY in June, contesting the charges while simultaneously asking for more time to review them, which he was granted. He lost his final appeal in Serbia to avoid extradition and was transported to The Hague [JURIST reports] in early June. Mladic faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, including murder, political persecution, forcible transfer and deportations, cruel treatment and the taking of peacekeepers as hostages. He is most infamous for allegedly ordering the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the massacre of Srebrenica during the Bosnian civil war.