The family of Bosnian Serb war-crimes suspect Ratko Mladic has filed a motion in a Serbian court to have him officially declared dead.
The family's lawyer, Milos Saljic, said the family decided to take the step "as since 2003 there are no indications that Mladic is alive." He said that Mladic, who is 68 if still living, had been seriously ill and could not have survived without medical care.
Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military commander during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, was indicted for genocide by the UN war crimes tribunal over the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica in 1995, and is also accused of orchestrating the siege of Sarajevo. He has been on the run for 15 years.
Saljic said the death certificate would "relieve pressure" on the Mladic family, which he claimed was being harassed by authorities.
Authorities said the move was designed to undermine efforts to catch Mladic.
Serbia’s failure to arrest Mladic has been the single biggest obstacle to closer ties between the country and the European Union.
compiled from agency reports