By Lamija Grebo
Former Bosnian Serb Army commander Ratko Mladic, who is appealing against his first-instance conviction for genocide and other crimes, has again complained to the UN court in The Hague that his health is deteriorating.
“My health continues to fail. I am not a doctor, so I do not know what is causing that,” Ratko Mladic told a status conference at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals in The Hague on Monday.
The 75-year-old former Bosnian Serb Army commander said however that medical documents provided by staff at the UN Detention Unit staff reiterated in that his condition was stable and unchanged.
Mladic has had several serious health problems while in detention and has suffered two strokes and one heart attack.
He has repeatedly complained about the medical treatment he has received in detention.
In May last year, his request for contempt of court proceedings against healthcare officers at the UN Detention Unit was rejected. Mladic’s defence claimed that they they were responsible for the deterioration of the defendant’s health.
Prior to that, the former Bosnian Serb military chief’s lawyers have asked for the pronouncement of his verdict to be postponed, for doctors to punished and for Mladic to be released for treatment, insisting that he has not received adequate care at the Detention Unit and that he needed hospitalisation.
In November 2017, the UN court sentenced Mladic to life imprisonment, finding him guilty of genocide in Srebrenica, persecution of Bosniaks and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, terrorising the population of Sarajevo and taking UN peacekeepers hostage.
Mladic was acquitted of genocide charges in six other Bosnian municipalities.
Both the defence and the prosecution are appealing.
Mladic has been held in detention since May 2011, when he was arrested in Serbia and sent to The Hague.