1 Jun 2011

Ratko Mladic extradited to face war crimes tribunal

2:54 pm on 1 June 2011

Serbia has extradited former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic to the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

An appeal from his lawyer that poor health should stop the former general's extradition was rejected, and he was put on a plane hours later.

He is accused of crimes against humanity committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

The former commander was charged by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 15 years ago for genocide in the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and the massacre of 8000 Muslim men and boys in the town of Srebrenica.

The 69-year-old was seized last Thursday in Lazarevo village, north of Belgrade, having been on the run for 16 years, the BBC reports.

His capture prompted at times violent protests by Serb nationalists in Serbia and Bosnia.

On Tuesday, thousands of Bosnian Serbs rallied in his support in Banja Luka, capital of the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska.

Ratko Mladic's last day in Serbia began with a police-escorted visit to the Belgrade grave of his daughter Ana who committed suicide in 1994, Reuters reports.

The former military commander's wife and son paid a final visit to the prison before he was dispatched to the Belgrade airport with special police wearing balaclava masks, bulletproof vests and automatic rifles guarding the convoy of Land Rover vehicles.