[JURIST] Ratko Mladic, former leader of the Bosnian Serb army during the Bosnian civil war, refused to testify on Tuesday at the trial of Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile], which is ongoing at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. The ICTY had granted Karadzic’s motion [JURIST report] in December to subpoena Mladic to testify at his trial. Karadzic has been charged [ICTY case summary, PDF; JURIST news archive] with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws of war. Karadzic expected Mladic to testify that in numerous conversations and meetings between them, they never agreed to commit the crimes of which Karadzic is accused, which would negate his mens rea for multiple charges. Mladic, however, refused to answer questions [Telegraph report] directed towards him at Tuesday’s hearing. Mladic also denounced the ICTY [BBC report] as “satanic,” and stated that testifying in Karadzic’s case could prejudice his own case in the future.
Karadzic has been accused, among other things, of participating in the planning of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], which resulted in the death of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys. In October 2012 Karadzic opened his defense [JURIST report] in the ICTY by denying all charges against him. Earlier in 2012 the ICTY denied Karadzic’s request for a new trial after he argued that the prosecution had failed to disclose [JURIST reports] crucial information until after trial. The court reasoned that the delay in disclosing evidence had not infringed on Karadzic’s right to a fair trial. In June 2012 the judges from the ICTY went on a five-day visit [JURIST report] to locations relevant to the indictment of Karadzic. This visit came just months after the ICTY sentenced [JURIST report] former president of the municipality of Sokolac, BiH, Milan Tupajic to two months in prison for refusing to testify against Karadzic.