Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Serbia / Srebrenica Massacre / International Tribunals

Mladic is Dead, Family Tells War Crimes Tribunal
By Vesna Peric Zimonjic
The Independent, May 26, 2010
Photo: AP
"The family of the Bosnian Serb war-time commander Ratko Mladic is seeking to bring the search for the genocide suspect to an end by having him declared legally dead. In a move that they said they hoped would draw a line under seven years of doubt, and which public officials dismissed as a mockery of state institutions, the family's legal team announced yesterday that they would put their demand to the Serbian authorities within days. Lawyer Milos Saljic told Belgrade B92 TV that the family wants this because of the 'freezing of his pension and property and harassment the family is exposed to.' Mladic is being hunted by the international war crimes tribunal for the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys after the fall of the UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica. The crime, committed by the Bosnian Serb Army in July 1995, remains the worst atrocity in Europe since the end of the Second World War.
Apart from the charges of genocide at Srebrenica, Mladic is accused of masterminding the siege of Sarajevo, which took 10,000 lives and lasted 44 months. Mr. Saljic argued that the procedure to declare a missing person dead can be commenced by a relative who can prove that he or she has 'legal interest' in doing so. The law in Serbia says that a person over 70 years of age who has not been heard from for more than five years can be declared officially dead without such significant proof as would ordinarily be required. Families commonly turn to that option to secure property. ... However, if Mladic is alive he is now 68, and the family will have to prove that he vanished under circumstances that make it probable he is no longer among the living. [...]"

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