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Prosecutors Seek Two War Crimes Trials Against Mladic


Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic sits in the courtroom during one of his initial appearances at the UN's war crimes tribunal in The Hague on July 4.

Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic sits in the courtroom during one of his initial appearances at the UN's war crimes tribunal in The Hague on July 4.

Prosecutors at the UN war crimes tribunal have proposed splitting the case against Ratko Mladic into two parts to speed up his trial.

Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander, is accused of orchestrating the murder of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 and other war crimes during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

He was arrested in May in Serbia after 16 years as a fugitive.

Prosecutors said today they want to try Mladic for Srebrenica first, and then try him on the other charges to "maximize the prospect of justice for the victims."

The 69-year-old Mladic, who denies the charges, has described himself as a "gravely ill" man, and lawyers for the defense have also raised concerns about his health.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has been criticized for the length of its trials after its trial against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic dragged on for four years, ending in his death in custody in 2006 and no verdict.

compiled from agency reports

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