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Mladic To Boycott War Crimes Court

Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic

Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic

A lawyer says former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic intends to boycott the UN war crimes court, where he is due to appear on July 4 to enter a plea against charges of genocide during the Bosnian war.

Lawyer Milos Saljic said Mladic has decided not to reappear at the court, demanding that he be represented by his own defense lawyers.

Arrested in May after 16 years on the run, Mladic formally was charged by the Yugoslavia tribunal in The Hague last month. He rejects the charges against him.

Reports say it is unlikely that the tribunal would force Mladic to appear against his will.

If Mladic refuses to enter a plea, judge Alphens Orie will likely enter one of "not guilty" for him.

compiled from agency reports