By BosNewsLife News Center

A Serbian plane carrying Ratko Mladic has landed at Rotterdam Airport, Netherlands. Via NOS Television
A Serbian plane carrying Ratko Mladic has landed at Rotterdam Airport, Netherlands. Via NOS Television

BELGRADE/AMSTERDAM/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)– A Serbian government plane carrying former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic has landed in the Netherlands, where he will be tried by the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal on genocide charges, including Europe’s worst massacre since World War Two.

Television footage showed the jet touching down at Rotterdam Airport Tuesday, May 31, hours after judges in Belgrade, Serbia, rejected his appeal to delay his extradition on grounds of ill health, and the Serbian justice minister authorized his handover to U.N. officials in The Hague.

Prosecutors believe Mladic, now a frail 69-year-old man, oversaw the killing of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995, Europe’s worst single atrocity since the Second World War.

His forces also were involved in the 43-month siege of Sarajevo, killing 11,000 people, including many children, according to investigators.

Mladic’s lawyer Milos Saljic has warned however that his client has suffered several strokes and may not be alive to see the start of his trial in The Hague. Prosecutors say Mladic is fit enough to face the U.N. court, where he was expected for a pre-trial hearing this week.

The court said it has adequate medical facilities to treat the war-time commander.


Mladic arrived at Rotterdam Airport with two police helicopters and special police forces of the National Coordinator for Counter terrorism standing nearby.

He was to be transferred to the detention center in Scheveningen, near The Hague, described by Dutch NOS television as the “most humane prison in the world.”

Prison cells have open doors and suspects cook together while family and lawyers are allowed visits.


Mladic was expected to face a pre-trial hearing within four days. His trial was however only to start six or seven months later.

Serbia’s Justice Minister, who signed the extradition order,  said in Belgrade that the handover marks the fulfillment of Serbia’s “international and moral obligation.”

“Mladic is charged with the most serious crimes against humanity and the most serious violations of international humanitarian law,” she said.

Mladic’s extradition brought a satisfied response from war victims. “This means a lot to the victims of genocide,” said Munira Subasic, head of the Sarajevo-based Association of Srebrenica Massacre Survivors. “Mladic has left and we believe that the evil will speak out of him and that he will tell the truth,” Subasic said in remarks to the Associated Press (AP) news agency.


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