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Lawyer Says Mladic Won't Live To See Trial


Pro-Mladic Belgrade Rally Turns Violent
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A rally in Belgrade in support of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, who faces extradition to The Hague on war crimes charges, turned violent on May 29. More than 100 people were reported detained and more than 30 injured.

The defense lawyer of Ratko Mladic says the former Bosnian Serb military chief is so ill he won't live to see the start of his trial on genocide and war crimes charges.

Lawyer Milos Saljic also requested that an array of doctors examine the 69-year-old Mladic.

"We requested a cardiologist, a psychiatrist, a neurologist, a gastroenterologist, and an orthopedist to examine [Mladic]," Saljic said. "And we have also asked for doctors who could help him now with hearing issues and problems with his vision, as well as walking. We have asked for that, too."

Mladic is accused of orchestrating the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys and other atrocities during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. He was arrested in Serbia last week after 16 years as a fugitive.

Government doctors have already said he is fit to be extradited to the UN tribunal in The Hague, where he faces charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

The defense lawyer of Ratko Mladic says he has filed an appeal against the former Bosnian Serb military chief's extradition to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Lawyer Milos Saljic said he filed the appeal by mail on May 30. It is expected to be taken into consideration by the court on May 31.

Justice Ministry official Slobodan Homen said that if the appeal court rejects the appeal, as expected, the extradition process would take up to four days.

On May 29, more than 100 people were reported detained and more than 30 injured in outbreaks of violence in connection with protests in Belgrade calling for the release of Mladic.

Interior Minister Ivica Dacic told Serbian state-run television that 111 people -- 37 of them minors -- were detained, while 10 civilians and 26 police officers suffered injuries, mostly minor.

Thousands of people took part in the protests on May 29 that were called by right-wing nationalist Serbs. The demonstration was described as peaceful, but afterward some protesters hurled stones and bottles and clashed with baton-wielding police.

compiled from agency reports