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Mladic war crimes trial postponed indefinitely over evidence disclosures

Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Monday suspended [press release] the trial of former Bosnian Serb Army commander Ratko Mladic [ICTY case materials; JURIST news archive] due to an error in disclosing documents to the defense lawyers. The decision came after the defense had filed a motion to reconsider [text] the decision of May 24. The prosecution responded [text] to the motion acknowledging that the materials for the trial are still incomplete while denying the defense's allegation that prosecution purposefully misrepresented the status of disclosures. A full decision and reasoning of the chamber will be made public in near future. Mladic is charged with several counts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive] including murder, political persecution, forcible transfer and deportations, cruel treatment and the taking of peacekeepers as hostages.

Mladic's trial was postponed indefinitely [JURIST report] in May due to allegations of prosecutorial misconduct related to evidence disclosure. Judge Alphons Orie adjourned the trial to allow the defense lawyers more time to consider the evidence the prosecution will present. Earlier that month, chief prosecutor of the ICTY had told reporters [JURIST report] that he believes Mladic is mentally and physically fit to stand. The ICTY had ordered [JURIST report] a medical examination for Mladic after he missed a hearing before the court a week earlier. His first appearance [JURIST report] before the ICTY was in June of last year when he contested charges against him while simultaneously asking for more time to review them. A day after, during his second appearance [JURIST report], Mladic refused to enter a plea without lawyers of his choice representing him and he was removed from the court for disrupting the proceedings.

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