4 Jul 2011

Mladic removed from war crimes hearing

9:57 pm on 4 July 2011

Former Bosnian Serb army head Ratko Mladic has been removed from a hearing at The Hague war crimes tribunal after quarrelling with the judge.

General Mladic is charged with 11 crimes including genocide and murder in connection with the 1992-95 Bosnian war and was ordered out of the court after continually interrupting proceedings.

He had previously said he would boycott the hearing and told the court on Monday he wanted another month to prepare his case.

At the start of the hearing General Mladic attempted to speak several times, but Judge Alfons Orie asked him to remain silent until he was allowed to speak and reprimanded for communicating with the public gallery.

General Mladic then refused to enter a plea after his request to change his lawyer to one of his choosing rather than a court-appointed one was denied. He shouted as he was escorted from the room.

The judge entered not guilty pleas on the 11 charges on the accused's behalf.

General Mladic was arrested in May and extradited to The Hague after 16 years on the run.

It was his second appearance after a hearing on 3 June when he declined to plead on what he called "obnoxious" charges.