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ICTY prosecutors seek to speed up Mladic trial, reduce evidence

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Friday proposed a reduction in the amount of evidence they planned to present against former Serbian general and alleged war criminal Ratko Mladic [ICTY backgrounder, PDF; JURIST news archive] in an effort to speed up his trial. The prosecutors are asking the court to reduce by nearly one half [BBC report] the number of crimes they had intended to prove. Mladic would nevertheless be tried on all 11 charges, including two counts of genocide. The request came one day after a panel of ICTY judges ordered [text, PDF; ICTY press release] the appointment of a medical expert to conduct a medical examination and issue a report on Mladic's physical condition.

In October, the ICTY prosecutor refused to seek further appeal [JURIST report] of the tribunal's refusal to split Mladic's trial into separate actions: one for his conduct during the Srebrenica massacre [JURIST news archive], where approximately 8,000 people were killed, and one for all of his other charges during the Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive]. 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. At his second appearance [JURIST report] he refused to enter a plea. Before that, he had lost his final appeal in Serbia to avoid extradition, and was transported to The Hague [JURIST reports]. 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. 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.

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